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HEFTY FINES FOR CLIENT AND CONTRACTOR

Workers and public exposed to asbestos during roofwork

Noble Gift Packaging Ltd and A & T Roofing Ltd have been ordered to pay over almost £120k in fines and prosecution costs after working on the roof of a building in London which was lined with 3,000 square metres of asbestos insulating board (AIB).

The contractor spent 12 weeks removing AIB and sweeping asbestos dust and debris into bags. Workers were not provided with effective protection even after the nature of the material had been established.

Despite employee concerns and test results managers allowed asbestos fibres to be carried on clothes into homes, vehicles and public transport etc.

HSE Inspector Sarah Snelling said: “A & T Roofing Ltd’s cavalier attitude towards the removal of the asbestos has put the future health of their employees, their employees’ families and members of the public in general at serious risk. The exposure suffered by the men working on this project is the worst our specialist inspector has seen in over 15 years of dealing with asbestos cases.

“Noble Gift Packaging Ltd, as client for the work, should have taken the basic step of having a full asbestos survey done after they were informed in a valuation survey that the roof contained asbestos. This could have prevented this whole tragic case.”

Comment: This prosecution comes as HSE are about to relaunch the Abestos:Hidden Killer campaign. It highlights the requirements on all clients to be fully aware of the presence of asbestos and ensure that competent contractors are appointed to carry out the works.

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