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    ASBESTOS EXPOSURE ON DEMOLITION PROJECT

    Two businesses and a director fined after asbestos dust exposure

    Recon Packaging Ltd, of Ashton-under-Lyne and Industrial & Commercial Building Services Ltd (ICBS) of Stockport have been ordered to pay £10k in fines and prosecution costs after ICBS employees came into contact with asbestos while demolishing part of the Recon Packaging recycling plant in early 2006. ICBS Managing Director, Kevin Bennett,was also fined £2k.

    The building was severely damaged by fire in May 2005 and the building contained substantial amounts of asbestos. No site assessment was carried out, and ICBS was not licensed to remove asbestos.

    Inspector Stuart Kitchingman said: “We took immediate action to stop the demolition, and were shocked that workers had been allowed to remove asbestos without the proper precautions being taken. Recon did not carry out any assessment to find out whether asbestos was, or was likely to be, present in its premises. If the company had, it would have found asbestos in large sections of insulation boards and some in coating sprayed on the building’s steelwork.

    “ICBS and Kevin Bennett should have made sure that the premises were free from asbestos before starting work. But they allowed workers to break up materials using hammers, crowbars and power tools, without wearing suitable protective equipment and without a licence.

    Comment: Companies are required to ensure that a Type 3 asbestos survey is carried out before any demolition or substantial refurbishment work takes place. A Type 3 survey involves a qualified asbestos surveyor carrying out a detailed inspection covering all areas of the building. Any materials containing asbestos must then be removed by an appropriate contractor before demolition or refurbishment work starts.

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