Health and Safety Consultants working across the UK
Asbestos training is essential for anyone working in the construction and refurbishment industry. This half day Asbestos Awareness Training course is for anybody that is liable to disturb asbestos during their normal work, such as construction workers, plumbers, electricians, joiners, demolition workers and many others. Any worker liable to disturb asbestos while performing their normal work is required to be trained. This course includes the latest legislation from the Control of Asbestos Regulation 2012
The main topics covered include:
• Keeping people safe from harm from asbestos
• An overview of the current legislation, including the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012
• The properties of asbestos and its effects on health
• The types, uses, and likely occurrence of asbestos and asbestos materials in buildings and plant
• How to avoid the risk of exposure to asbestos fibres
Pub operator fined £25,000 after exposing workers to asbestos fibres
A major UK pub operator has been fined after three electricians and two plumbers were exposed to asbestos during refurbishment works at a Darlington pub. The operator was refurbishing the vacant pub in Darlington when the construction workers were potentially exposed to deadly asbestos fibres.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the company had commissioned a survey to check for the presence of asbestos in June 2007, but it was restricted to only those areas where the proposed refurbishment works were to be carried out. The refurbishment plans were then changed before work started.
Bishop Auckland Magistrates’ Court heard how on 28 September 2007, the electricians and plumbers started work in a kitchen area which had not been included in the original survey.
The ceiling tiles in the kitchen contained asbestos which meant that when the workers drilled into them with power tools, in preparation for new electrics and plumbing, dust and debris covered their faces and clothing, potentially exposing them to asbestos fibres.
The operator was fined a total of £14,001 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 5 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and ordered to pay costs of £11,781.45.
A HSE Inspector said:
“Construction and maintenance workers are among those most at risk from asbestos-related diseases due to the nature of their work. Asbestos is still widely present in buildings constructed prior to 2000, so workers can often inadvertently disturb materials containing asbestos if the correct survey has not been carried out to check for its presence and appropriate control measures put in place.
“The pub operator knew there was asbestos in the building and should have ensured that all the areas where work was to be done had been checked for asbestos and the necessary precautions taken. Everyone who owns or operates commercial premises built prior to 2000 must ensure that a suitable and sufficient assessment for asbestos has been carried out prior to any construction work starting.
“In addition, construction and maintenance workers should have asbestos awareness training so that they can recognise that some materials may contain asbestos and know what action to take.”
One of the workers exposed to the fibres commented:
“Because the effects of asbestos take a long time to show up, the worry of whether the asbestos has caused lasting damage to my health will stay with me for years to come. And it’s not just me – it’s a huge worry for my partner also, as there is a chance that she might have been exposed to fibres that were brought home on my work clothes.
“Anyone working on refurbishment or construction projects should never take anything for granted and should make sure they get on an asbestos awareness course. Although we’d been given plans of the pub and the work we were doing because the survey hadn’t been done we had no idea there was asbestos in the ceiling tiles until the site manager said something. If we’d been given the training before starting work, I definitely would have been much more vigilant about the risk that asbestos could be present.”
Michael has delivered high-quality training with excellent results. It was very well received with extremely positive feedback. Michael has also helped as a consultant in providing expert accident investigation and auditing of company standards. The work that Michael carried out was an example of how consultancy should be in support of business and I would certainly recommend Michael without hesitation.
Brian Goulding, The Garden Centre Group, and Environmental Health Partnership Ltd