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    PROSECUTION ASBESTOS

    Electrical contractor fails to provide asbestos awareness training

    Scriven Electrical Contractors Ltd has been ordered to pay almost £6k in fines and prosecution costs for breaching the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006  – Regulation 10(1)(a). The court heard that an electrician installed three heat detectors and associated cabling in a commercial sized kitchen and boiler room where ceiling tiles contained ‘brown’ (amosite) asbestos. Asbestos awareness training had not been provided prior to commencement of the work. HSE inspector John Healy said the company “should have known of the dangers and the legal requirement to give sufficient training to protect employees from exposure to asbestos because 98% of their work involves the risk of encountering asbestos.”

    HSE stress asbestos still presents a real and relevant risk to plumbers, joiners, electricians and many other maintenance workers as it may be present in any building constructed or refurbished before the year 2000. It is estimated that 500,000 commercial buildings could contain asbestos and fibres may be disturbed during drilling or cutting.

    Comment: It looks as though more prosecutions of this type can be expected in the coming months as HSE step up the pressure on contractors to train building maintenance and repair workers. In non-domestic premises the project client has a clear duty to provide information on asbestos as part of the Client duties under CDM 2007. 

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