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CHECKS ON COMPETENCE OF ASBESTOS REMOVERS

Construction firm fined after not checking asbestos remover suitability

Quarnmill Construction Ltd has been ordered to pay over £15,000 in fines and prosecution costs after workers were exposed to asbestos in Derby in 2009.

The company was preparing a building for demolition and employed a contractor to remove asbestos-containing materials. Quarnmill provided the removal contractor with a survey detailing the work to be done. However, a checks on  suitability to carry out the work and the holding of a licence to remove asbestos were not undertaken.

During the course of the work the company informed HSE that the site had become contaminated with asbestos as a result of the work the carried out by the contractor engaged.

Consultant spotted contractor unsuitability

Quarnmill Construction Ltd, of Derby Road, Aston on Trent, pleaded guilty to breaching CDM 2007 Regulation 4(1)(a) for not taking reasonable steps to ensure that those engaged were competent. The company was today fined £13,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,700 by Derby magistrates. We understand that prosecution of a second defendant has not been concluded.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Carol Southerd commented:

“Quarnmill did not check the competence of the contractor to do this job nor that he had a suitable licence. This check is required by law. His unsuitability was eventually discovered after a consultant checked the HSE website and reported him, but by this time it was too late.

Asbestos is the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in the UK.  Employers need to protect their workers now to prevent them contracting an asbestos-related disease in the future.”

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