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CLIENT AND SITE FOREMAN FINED FOR ASBESTOS BLUNDERS

Contractor avoids prosecution as ‘manager’ held to account for breaches 

Corgi Hosiery Ltd and a site foreman of Dragon Cladding Ltd have been fined after asbestos covered roof sheets were removed from  a factory in Wales. The knitwear company client and and cladding contractor foreman have been fined for putting workers and visitors at risk of exposure to asbestos.

HSE received a complaint about the work and visited in October 2008 to find that roofworkers had removed asbestos sheets from the roof along with plaster-like material from the underside of the sheets and structural steelwork.

The contractor site foreman Stuart Phillips, 27, had instructed two workers to use a hammer and chisel to remove the plaster-like material from the building steelwork.

Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard that no effort was made to establish the nature of the material prior to work commencing and the debris was swept into domestic black bin bags and placed in open skips.

Corgi Hosiery staff had access to the main building and one worker was based in the area throughout the works. Visitors to the premises were not excluded from the works area.

Danger so well known incident inexcusable

Mr Phillips of Carmarthenshire was found to have failed to adequately assess the risks, plan the work and implement a safe system of work and was fined a total of £4,000 for breaching Regulations 11 (1) (a) and 16 of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2006 by virtue of Section HSW Act 1974 Section 37 (1) . He was also ordered to pay £1,000 costs.

Corgi Hosiery Ltd, of Carmarthenshire was found guilty of failing to prevent exposure of its employees to asbestos and was today fined £25,000 for breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2006, with £15,000 costs.

HSE inspector Anne Marie Orrells said:

“Nowadays, the risks of exposure to asbestos are well known so this serious incident was inexcusable. Had Mr Phillips adequately assessed the risks prior to the start of the work, it would have been apparent that the work should have been carried out by an asbestos-licensed contractor, under controlled conditions.

Corgi Hosiery Limited should have ensured measures were taken to exclude employees and visitors from the area while the roof work was being carried out overhead. As a result of these failings both workers and visitors to their premises were exposed to potentially deadly asbestos-containing materials.”

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