After removing asbestos in an unsafe manner at a junior school in Dursley, a construction company has been fined for failing to follow proper asbestos removal protocol during the refurbishment project.
The company involved, R F Gardiner Limited, removed asbestos unsafely and did not have the appropriate license to even carry out the work they were hired to complete.
As a result, the construction company were summoned to Cheltenham Magistrates Court.
During the hearing, it was revealed that operatives working for the company were exposed to high levels of airborne asbestos fibres during the refurbishment project due to the fact that the company failed to use water suppression processes, or wear the necessary equipment such as face masks to carry out the work safely.
The court also heard that an enclosure had also not been set up in order to contain the asbestos fibres during the removal process, resulting in these fibres dispersing in the surrounding area.
And, as no contingency plan was implemented at the time, the construction workers had no way of decontaminating the site following the removal work.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector James Lucas issued the following statement: “The company in this case should have ensured appropriate measures were identified during the planning process to include the engagement of a licensed asbestos contractor to carry out correct control measures and safe working practices for the removal of the asbestos.
“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards”.
Following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the hearing also concluded that poor planning resulted in unsafe and unlicensed asbestos removal work.
The company involved, R F Gardiner Limited of Cirencester Road, Gloucestershire, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 8(1), 11(1) and 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and was fined £28,000. They were ordered to pay costs of £1,141.80.
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