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ASBESTOS CEMENT SAFE WORKING PRACTICES NOT FOLLOWED

Demolition contractor failed to heed warnings on safe removal of AC sheeting

Walsh Plant Hire and Demolition Contractors Ltd has been fined after construction workers were exposed to asbestos fibres at the former Revlon factory in Wales in May 2010. HSE found the company ignored repeated warnings to manage the safe removal of asbestos during work on the demolition of the site.

Bridgend Magistrates Court heard the company was first served with a Prohibition Notice ceasing activity at the site in February 2010 when work to remove asbestos cement sheeting debris was likely to generate asbestos dust. Before resuming work, the company was required to produce a plan for the safe removal of the materials to make sure it was properly managed.

Firm ignored guidelines in its own asbestos removal plan

A management plan was developed including ‘damping down’ the waste until it was removed from the site. However, in May 2010 HSE Inspectors found the company had ignored the guidelines in its own plan. The site was dry and no damping down had been undertaken for a week. Excavators were moving rubble contaminated with asbestos-containing debris, and tracking over asbestos cement fragments, potentially contaminating workers with asbestos dust.

Walsh Plant Hire and Demolition Contractors Ltd, of Unit 6, Old Parish Road, Ynysybwl, Pontypridd, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 7(5) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006. The company was today fined £5,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £6,828.

.... For illustration only ....

After the hearing, HSE inspector Phil Nicolle said:

“The company was well aware of what it should have done to ensure the health of its workers and others when working with asbestos-containing materials at the site.

HSE had taken previous enforcement action to ensure the company had a plan of work to manage the asbestos material safely. This plan was prepared but then ignored by the company.

Asbestos is the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in the UK. This prosecution sends a clear message to demolition contractors that they cannot ignore the safe practices required to work with asbestos cement products. HSE will continue to prosecute those lacking.”

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One Response to “ASBESTOS CEMENT SAFE WORKING PRACTICES NOT FOLLOWED”

  1. HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 7th DECEMBER 2011 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] Walsh Plant Hire & Demolition Contractors Ltd – asbestos: £5,000. […]