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COUNCIL FINED FOLLOWING FAILURE TO WARN OF ASBESTOS

No warning to plumber on asbestos risk in dealing with water leak

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council has been fined after dispatching an employee to deal with a water leak in a housing complex without warning him that asbestos was present.

The council failed to warn the trained plumber that asbestos was present at a sheltered accommodation complex despite possessing a survey etailing where the asbestos was located.

He found the faulty pipe in a ceiling void on the first floor of the building after removing an asbestos insulation board (AIB) ceiling sheet with a hand saw. He stood directly underneath the tile while sawing the material for around 20 minutes and was covered in dust. He was not wearing any personal protective clothing.

Survey… and acting upon it is essential

Nuneaton and Bedworth BC pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 4(9)(c) and Regulation 11(1) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006. The council was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,140.

HSE inspector Mike Ford said:

“This case is particularly disappointing as we expect more from local authorities who actually have a duty to enforce the law concerning asbestos, and should be setting a good example.

The dangers of asbestos are well known in the building industry so for Nuneaton and Bedworth BC not to inform its employee of its presence showed a major failing in the Council’s procedures at that time.

The council had in its possession an asbestos survey for Craddock Court which included the details of the AIB above the first floor corridor.

It is equally distressing that the work was being carried out in a public area of a sheltered accommodation complex.We can’t stress enough how important it is for anyone carrying out building work to obtain the proper asbestos surveys and then act upon them.”

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