Unsafe asbestos removal leads to fine for Gloucestershire construction firm

A construction company in Gloucestershire has been fined following the unsafe and unlicensed removal of asbestos from a primary school.

R F Gardiner Ltd were completing refurbishment works on the Dursley primary school when they removed the asbestos containing materials (ACM), despite not having the appropriate training and licenses to do so.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report that as a result of the unsafe removal, operatives working for the company were exposed to high levels of airborne asbestos fibres.

No water suppression was used during the removal, and workers had not been face-fit tested for the masks they were wearing, making them vulnerable to airborne fibres. Workers then had no way of decontaminating onsite when work was complete.

R F Gardiner also did not set up an enclosure under negative pressure to contain the asbestos, resulting in fibres being spread around the surrounding areas.

The HSE’s investigation found that poor planning meant that unsafe and unlicensed asbestos removal work had been carried out.

R F Gardiner Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 8(1), 11(1) and 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and was fined £28,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,141.80.

After the hearing at Cheltenham Magistrates Court, HSE inspector James Lucas said, “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.”

BLS Asbestos are a HSE licensed asbestos removal contractor with over 20 years’ experience in the safe removal of asbestos from commercial, residential, industrial and public buildings. To find out more about our asbestos services, please give us a call on 01484 400558 or get in touch via the website.

Published: 26th March 2018

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