An Asbestos Register is Not Enough
Asbestos Register and Management
Okay so it is worse when there is no asbestos register at all but there are time when our customers become “comfortable” after organising an asbestos survey visit from Asbestos Solutions NI. We will come and survey the entire building and have samples tested in a UKAS accredited lab. We will then document everything found and produce an asbestos analysis report. This allows the customer to create an asbestos register ( the legal requirement) and then perhaps an asbestos management plan. However recently we have seen that the register is not being updated properly or in some cases when tradesmen come to carry out repairs, the asbestos register is never looked at. This can be a very dangerous practice and we have a story to show how.
Charitable Trust Fined by HSE for Asbestos Failings
A charitable trust responsible for running an academy in England had employed a contractor to carry out work to refurbish a block at the school. The court heard that the contractor did not look at the asbestos register to find out where asbestos was located within the building before starting work. As we know this is always dangerous. The fact that the school had an asbestos register tells that there was certainly asbestos present in the building. Secondly as we have written about many times, asbestos can be hidden in the strangest of places that we might never think of and so can easily be disturbed when carrying out work.
Refurbishment and Demolition Asbestos Survey
It is a legal requirement to carry out a refurbishment and demolition survey before any repairs or demolition take place. It is the building owner / managers responsibility to ensure that contractors know where asbestos is before they start work. The trust did not have one of these surveys carried out and so pleaded guilty at court. This resulted in them being fined £18,000 and were instructed to pay court costs of £17,000 on top of this.
The contractor was also fined £9,000 and had to pay additional court costs of £8,000. You can find the full story at the Health & Safety Executives website by clicking here.