An asbestos removal firm has been fined after improper management caused workers to be exposed to dangerous fibres.
According to bbc.co.uk, Angus Group Ltd will have to pay £109,000 in fines and £42,100 in legal costs, as it was found guilty of eight breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006. The incident took place in 2012 during the demolition of the former Ermine Infants’ School building in Lincoln.
Before demolition work began, a survey revealed that the end wall of the school’s main hall had a spray-applied coating of asbestos. This should have been removed under controlled conditions by a licensed contractor, but these recommendations were ignored by Angus Group.
Instead, the firm removed the asbestos by chiselling it off using power tools – without any screens or air extraction systems in place to protect employees. Even when Angus Group stated that it was finished, patches of asbestos were found on the walls afterwards.
According to constructionenquirer.com, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Martin Giles commented after the hearing: “Angus Group Ltd is an experienced licensed contractor and was fully aware of all the hazards and all its responsibilities to ensure safety at all times.
“It is deplorable a company that does know better failed to properly manage the dangers of this hidden killer.”