Early detection of asbestos can save lives and it’s a legal requirement that anyone who comes into contact with, or handles asbestos is appropriately trained in how to deal with it effectively.

A failure to detect asbestos can result in serious consequences.

This was the case for a specialist asbestos company, who were fined after one of their surveyors failed to detect asbestos on a demolition site.

As a result, the company were summoned to Greater Manchester Magistrates’ Court.  The company in question, EAS Asbestos Limited were commissioned by Mercer Brother Limited to conduct an asbestos survey, ahead of a contract Mercer Brother Limited had secured to demolish garages for Hyndburn Homes.

However, following an onsite visit, EAS Asbestos concluded in their surveys that asbestos was only present in the cement roof sheets, and that there were no asbestos insulation boards present in the garages or areas that could not be accessed.

Following the onside evaluation, work went ahead on Wednesday 1 February 2017, however, it was immediately stopped following the discovery of a suspect material on site, which was later confirmed to be a large amounts of asbestos insulation boards found in the demolition rubble. Another Asbestos company confirmed this.

As a result, an investigation was launched in order to find out how this was missed in the original assessment by EAS Asbestos Limited. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) quickly concluded that the survey carried out by EAS Asbestos Limited was incorrect and misleading.

After the case, HSE inspector Jacqueline Western issued a statement stating: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.

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

The Outcome:

EAS Asbestos Limited of Lower Meadow Lane, Huthwaite, Sutton in Ashfield, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £6,700 and ordered to pay costs of £1,000 and a victim surcharge of £170.

If, meanwhile, you are seeking the most professional asbestos survey in London for your own organisation, call the Salvum team today on 0343 886 5999?

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