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Asbestos blunder costs contractors £112,000 in court

Two construction companies have been fined £112,000 after their subcontractors were exposed to asbestos fibres during school refurbishment work.

Derby Crown Court heard that on 1 August 2016, Oakwood Junior school in Derby was undergoing refurbishment work during the school holidays.

Two subcontractors removing suspended ceiling tiles entered a storage room which had a suspended ceiling made from asbestos containing ceiling tiles.

An HSE investigation found that main contractor Ashe Construction Limited failed to effectively plan, manage and monitor the work to prevent the accidental removal of the asbestos containing tiles.
 

The HSE also found that Cladceil Limited, a contractor appointed by Ashe to carry out the suspended ceiling removal work, also failed to effectively plan, manage and monitor the work.

The company appointed a subcontractor to remove the suspended ceilings on its behalf but provided only a generic risk assessment and method statement which failed to identify important information, including the asbestos risk.
 

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Andrew Bowker said: "The exposure to asbestos could so easily have been avoided if the two companies involved had put sufficient effort into planning, managing and monitoring the ceiling tile removal work.

"HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards."

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