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DANGEROUS REMOVAL OF ASBESTOS CEMENT

Workers smashed asbestos sheets with crowbars whilst at risk of falling

Quainton Logistics & Storage Ltd has today been prosecuted after both putting workers at risk and allowing conditions on site to “fall well below the expected standard” in May 2016.

Liverpool Magistrates heard that operatives were “smashing asbestos roof sheets with crow bars” on a derelict warehouse in Bootle, Merseyside.

In addition to the risk of asbestos exposure other hazards were not being managed effectively namely:

  • Falling from height – workers were also at risk of falling into open service pits. There was no edge protection or fall restraint equipment in place;
  • PPE and Welfare – workers were not provided with PPE and there were no toilet or washing provisions on site; and
  • MEWP safety – three persons were operating a Mobile Elevated Work Platform (MEWP) and fork lift truck on site. All were foreign nationals and only one spoke English. In another area of the building, a MEWP was parked next to the open pits, only around 1 metre from the edge. The MEWPs and fork lift truck were in “very poor condition” and covered in broken asbestos cement sheets.
Multiple failures

HSE told the court that the company failed to put measures in place to manage the work and ensure the health and safety of operatives. The company also failed to implement safe systems of work or correct procedures for removing asbestos material.

  • Quainton Logistics and Storage Limited – of Turnall Road, Widnes, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulations 15(2) and 28(6) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.  The company was fined £14,000 and ordered to pay costs of £ 6,870.44.

HSE inspector Jacqueline Western said after the hearing:

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

 

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