Blog - Industrial Disease

Engineering Firm Fined after Workers Exposed to Asbestos

An engineering firm from Swansea has been fined after workers were exposed to asbestos.

Wall Colmonoy Ltd had contracted out work to renovate a building opposite its premises to Oaktree Construction. The plan for the company was to expand its operations into the new site.

Wall Colomonoy Ltd had two surveys undertaken into the presence of asbestos on the site. These surveys (later deemed inadequate) found that asbestos was present in some areas of the building.

The Health and Safety Executive told Oaktree Construction that a Refurbishment Demolition Survey was required before work began. Despite this, demolition work started on the building.

During the demolition, an asbestos insulation board was damaged. Debris from the asbestos insulation board was found on the floor of the building when a HSE inspector made an unannounced visit months later.

The HSE decided to prosecute Wall Colomonoy Ltd for breaking health and safety regulations. They found that the firm failed to appoint a competent co-ordinator for the work. The asbestos surveys the company had were poor and had been confirmed as inadequate by a licensed asbestos remover. No attempts had been made to safely remove the asbestos or prevent the risk of exposure. The firm was fined £16,000 last week.

Oaktree Construction were also prosecuted by the HSE, and were similarly fined £8,000 this week. This was because they broke regulations regarding the control of asbestos by failing to prevent its employee’s exposure.

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