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    CAMBRIDGE COLLEGE ASBESTOS BLUNDERS

    Survey absent and asbestos awareness training not provided

    Newnham College Cambridge has been fined for failings which exposed employees and contractors to asbestos during refurbishment of a flat owned by the college in March 2018.

    Cambridge Magistrates heard that college employees and contractors were carrying out a refurbishment of a flat when asbestos insulation debris was discovered in the floor voids after work had been carried out. An asbestos refurbishment survey was not carried out prior to the insulation debris being found.

    The gloves and clothing of an employee were contaminated with loose asbestos debris and he had not received asbestos awareness training. The asbestos was spread from his clothing to areas outside the flat.

    Planning and management inadequate

    HSE investigators found that there was inadequate planning and management of the refurbishment work of the flat when asbestos insulation debris was discovered in the floor voids after work had been carried out.

    • Newnham College – of Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 5 and 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. It has been fined £12,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,450.28.

    Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Sandra Dias said:

    “Asbestos surveys need to be carried out prior to refurbishment works which disturbs the fabric of a building.

    Asbestos is still present in hidden locations in buildings and needs to be located before work starts that could potentially expose individuals.

    Asbestos related diseases are currently untreatable and claim the lives of an estimated 5,000 people per year in the UK.”

     

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