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Foreman kept in dark over asbestos threat – Contractor fined

Refurb foreman kept in dark over asbestos threat
A Battersea contractor has been fined for failing to highlight the known presence of asbestos insulating board (AIB) at a Berkshire warehouse.

The move exposed a foreman and others to potential harm when it was ripped out during refurbishment work.

The contractor was in possession of a detailed asbestos survey that clearly identified the location of the asbestos wall panels inside the building in Wokingham.

But the survey wasn’t shared with the team on the ground.

So when a foreman mistook the AIB for asbestos cement – a lower risk material – it was removed without adequate control measures and protective equipment.

This was despite an asbestos survey being completed just two months prior to the work starting.

Because the foreman was unaware that the panels were made from AIB, the wrong kind of control measures were in place when he removed them.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Karen Morris commented: “It is disappointing that the foreman and others were needlessly put at risk simply because the asbestos survey for the warehouse wasn’t supplied to the team on the ground, or the location of the AIB relayed.

“What is the point of having a suitable survey in hand if you aren’t going to act on it and share vital information with those who need to know?

If you need any advice or information on working with ACM (asbestos containing materials), or if you need an asbestos survey please contact ACM Surveys Ltd on 01924 471200 or via the ACM Surveys Ltd website www.acmasbestossurveys.co.uk. We carry out asbestos testing, asbestos sampling, asbestos management surveys, asbestos refurbishment surveys, asbestos demolition surveys, asbestos inspections, asbestos sampling and management of asbestos in non-domestic properties.
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Published Oct 06, 2014
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