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    COUNCIL FINED FOR ASBESTOS OFFENCES

    Workers at risk from asbestos while carrying out refurbishment work

    Edninburgh Council has been fined £14k after joiners and others were instructed to undertake removal of laboratory doors from a school which involved cutting the doors and disturbing the asbestos core inside.

    The court heard how the council had failed to keep accurate records of the location and condition of asbestos and did not have suitable procedures in place to inform those working on or near the substance that it was there.

    HSE inspector Mike Orr commented: “Although the council had carried out a survey of the premises which identified the asbestos core in the doors, there was no register on the school site and the summary provided to workers wasn’t sufficient to alert them to the danger. The council did not carry out a sufficient risk assessment prior to the work commencing in 2007.

    “It is important to stress that many buildings, including schools, contain asbestos. If it remains undisturbed and is in good condition it should not be a cause for concern. As this case demonstrates, those most likely to be at risk from asbestos are tradesmen. This case should serve as a warning to property owners or those who manage buildings to ensure they have robust arrangements in place to manage the risks from asbestos.”

    Comment: This prosecution is a example of why the current HSE Asbestos Hiddeen Killer campaign has just been launched to raise awareness amongst joiners, plumbers, electricians and other building trades who remain at risk from asbestos during refurb work.

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