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PROPERTY AGENT PROSECUTED OVER ASBESTOS EXPOSURE

Company failed to assess work and make workman asbestos aware

Rochefort Shugar Ltd of Cardiff has been prosecuted after a handyman was exposed to asbestos-containing material while carrying out work on a property. The workman regularly carried out work on properties managed by the company.

On 15 October 2010 he was sent to a domestic property to fix a leaking porch roof. Whilst removing a sheet of material from the damaged roof he realised it was asbestos insulation board (AIB). The sheet was broken during removal and the surrounding area was contaminated with asbestos debris.

Barry Magistrates’ Court heard that the removal of the panel and the sweeping up and bagging of the debris would have resulted in the significant release of asbestos fibres into the air.

He wore two dust masks while removing the board but did not undergo any decontamination procedures and was not wearing a protective, disposable suit. A licensed asbestos contractor later decontaminate the area.

HSE investigators found the handyman had not been advised of asbestos in the property and no risk assessment had been carried out. His employer made no attempt to ensure the workman was competent to identify or work with asbestos.

Asbestos should be treated with extreme care

Rochefort Shugar Ltd. of Tudor House, 16 Cathedral Road, Cardiff were found guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £1,500 and with £2,500 costs.

HSE Inspector, Steve Richardson said:

“There are specific rules and laws regarding hazardous substances like asbestos. If we do not enforce these laws, people’s health can be put at serious risk. Asbestos is a known carcinogen, and should be treated with extreme caution.

Those in charge of maintenance and repair of buildings must ensure work is carried out by competent tradesmen, and that consideration is given to the presence of hazards such as asbestos. More information on risk assessment can be found on the HSE website and the Hidden Killer website.”

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One Response to “PROPERTY AGENT PROSECUTED OVER ASBESTOS EXPOSURE”

  1. HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 4th JANUARY 2012 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] Rochfort Shugar Limited – release of asbestos fibres: £1,500; […]