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    SUPERVISOR FINED OVER ‘FLAGRANT’ ASBESTOS BREACH

    HSE spot errant supervisor inside enclosure on CCTV footage

    A supervisor of asbestos removal work has been prosecuted after he recklessly exposed himself to asbestos material in May 2013.

    Jack Conn was seen working “unprotected” at the site at Canterbury Academy where he walking inside the sealed enclosure without wearing his essential respiratory mask, and with the hood of his protective overalls down.

    A second worker could be seen removing the asbestos materials but with the correct personal protective equipment in use.

    Canterbury Magistrates heard (20 May) that on arrival at the school an HSE Inspector saw the thorough and correct preparations the firm had put in place. These included a fenced-off site compound with restricted access warning signs; a decontamination unit with three separate cleaning areas and the sealed boiler house with a three-stage air lock.

    The Inspector proceeded to the basement and viewed what was happening inside the sealed enclosure on a CCTV monitor.

    During the HSE investigation Mr Conn admitted his respiratory equipment was in the enclosure with him, on the floor, and that he was aware of the risks and the duty to wear RPE. He also confirmed he had undertaken the training to be a supervisor.

    Casual disregard for dangers

    Jack Conn, 23, of Brissenden Close, Upnor, Rochester, Kent, was fined £1,000 with £1,500 towards costs after admitting a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

    After the case, HSE Inspector Nicola Wellard said:

    “It really does beggar belief that a trained supervisor with a licensed company, fully aware of the very real dangers associated with exposure to asbestos, could then casually disregard those dangers and work in a contaminated environment.

    Jack Conn, as supervisor, should have been setting a high standard to other employees and being seen to take seriously the precautions necessary to control the risks to himself and others. It was an obviously flagrant and deliberate breach. I hope he will not come to regret it in years ahead.”

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