Asbestos halts work on Warwick University refurbishment project

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A refurbishment project at Warwick University had to be halted when contractors accidentally disturbed asbestos in the walls of the building.

Staff working on the renovation of the halls of residence at Westwood Campus inadvertently released asbestos fibres into the air while ripping out furniture that was attached to the walls.

Workers were evacuated from the site and the matter was referred to the Health and Safety Executive.

A spokesman for site operator Deeley Construction told the Coventry Telegraph that it had been aware parts of the building contained asbestos before work got underway.

He added: “We had hired a removal firm to move furniture. It subsequently transpired that some of that furniture was fixed to walls which contained asbestos and once that was reported to us, work was stopped on that building and the site closed.

"Testing is now being carried out and the facts will be reported to the Health and Safety Executive well within the permitted time frame.”

Disruption caused by disturbing asbestos is not only expensive and time consuming, it can also endanger workers and lead to legal problems.

An asbestos refurbishment / demolition survey must be undertaken before any major renovation project can begin in order to locate any asbestos containing materials in the building.

A decision can then be taken on whether to have the asbestos removed or to draw up a safe working plan.

For more information about asbestos surveys, please contact BLS Asbestos.

Published: 14th July 2014