View all news articles

School and glass contractor fined for asbestos failings

A Birmingham academy and a glass company have been fined for failing to properly manage refurbishment works and exposing workers to asbestos.

The incident cost the school £20,000 through decontamination and replacement of floor coverings. Soft furnishings and children's work had to be disposed of and parts of the school could not be used for the second part of the summer term.

After the hearing HSE inspector Paul Thompson said:

"This incident would have been avoided had the academy put procedures in place to ensure that relevant parties understood their duties around minimising the risk of asbestos exposure inside the school.

"Although the school had not been under local authority control since 2011, it failed to ensure employees and management received adequate training to make up for the loss of local authority support and ensure that a suitable asbestos management plan was in place.

"By not providing asbestos awareness training to their operatives and not taking steps to ensure that they had information on where asbestos was in the premises before works commenced, Birmingham Glass Services Ltd failed in their duty to protect their employees and members of the public from potential exposure to asbestos.

"Workers exposed to asbestos could have posed a health risk to others in the long term, even their families and loved ones, by taking home their contaminated clothing.

"Asbestos is the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in the UK. Building owners and contractors have a duty to ensure they protect their workers from risk of exposure. Equitas Academies Trust and Birmingham Glass Services Ltd failed to do so."

Information and advice about working safely with asbestos can be found on the HSE website at www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos

 

For the full story click here


View all news articles