Trafford Magistrates’ Court
A Stockport heating engineering firm were sentenced after two of its engineers were exposed to asbestos while working at a Manchester school.
Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard Flueclean were contracted to replace boilers in the boiler room of the school.
However, two of Flueclean’s gas engineers were exposed to asbestos when they took the side panels off boilers which had asbestos insulation on the boiler casing.
Flueclean Installations Services Limited Lytham Street Works, Shaw Heath, Stockport, Cheshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 6(1) and 11(1) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and was fined £4,000 for each breach with £3,517 costs.
HSE inspector Kevin Jones said after the hearing:
“Asbestos is the greatest cause of work related deaths in the UK with over 4,000 deaths arising from past exposure.
“Contractors have a duty to ensure they protect their workers from the risk of exposure to asbestos and must properly plan any work which is likely to disturb it.
“In this case, Flueclean Installations Services Limited failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment which if they had would have clearly identified that the work should have been carried out by a licensed asbestos contractor. As a result of this failing, two of their operatives were exposed to asbestos.”
Regulation 6(1) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 states: An employer must not carry out work which is liable to expose employees of that employer to asbestos unless that employer has —
- made a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risk created by that exposure to the health of those employees and of the steps that need to be taken to meet the requirements of these Regulations;
- recorded the significant findings of that risk assessment as soon as is practicable after the risk assessment is made; and
- implemented the steps referred to in sub-paragraph (a).
Regulation 11(1) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 states: Every employer must—
- prevent the exposure to asbestos of any employee employed by that employer so far as is reasonably practicable;
- (b) where it is not reasonably practicable to prevent such exposure—
- take the measures necessary to reduce exposure to asbestos of any such employee to the lowest level reasonably practicable by measures other than the use of respiratory protective equipment, and
- ensure that the number of any such employees exposed to asbestos at any one time is as low as is reasonably practicable.