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COUNCIL FAILED TO FOLLOW ASBESTOS MANAGEMENT PLAN

Workforce and visitors exposed to asbestos as condition of ACMs deteriorated  

Nottingham City Council has been fined £30,000 for failing to manage risk from asbestos after around 150 people were exposed to asbestos at a depot.

A visiting contractor spotted what was suspected to be asbestos-containing debris on the floor of the council building used as offices, garages, mess room and for storage in May 2009

An HSE investigation found that when the city council purchased the depot an asbestos survey was carried out and the majority of the asbestos removed. 

The specialist company that managed the asbestos removal gave the council a plan which told them where any remaining asbestos was located and how to manage its condition.

The city council failed to follow this plan and inspections of the depot did not identify that council policies on the management of asbestos had not been implemented. 

The HSE investigators found that over a four year period the asbestos deteriorated and nothing was done to prevent the exposure to asbestos of those working in, or visiting, the building.

Organisations must take duty to manage seriously

Nottingham City Council pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(10) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and Regulation 5(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Nottingham magistrates today fined the council £15,000 for each offence and ordered them to pay costs of £12,000.

HSE principal inspector Frank Lomas said:

“The latest health and safety statistics show that more people are dying as a result of asbestos related diseases than are killed in accidents at work. This situation will not change unless organisations take their duty to manage asbestos seriously.

The council failed to identify that its own asbestos policy had not been implemented at the depot. It’s all well and good having policies in place but they are meaningless unless they are put into practice and in this case, around 150 people were needlessly exposed to a potentially fatal substance.”

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