Firm fined after failing to tell of asbestos risk

9th May 2014

A Battersea building firm has been fined after it failed to tell contractors of the known asbestos risk at one of its warehouses in Berkshire.

The firm knew that the building had asbestos insulating board (AIB), but did not share this information with the team on the ground, which meant that they did not take the necessary precautions when removing it.

The error was identified by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which led the prosecution after investigating the contamination of the building in late 2011.

Although a survey of the building was completed to check for the presence of asbestos two months before work began, this report was not then handed on to the site’s foreman.

Asbestos fibres can cause terminal health conditions if inhaled, but this is easily avoided if the correct procedures are put in place.

Redwood Contractors Ltd were fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £2,857 in costs after pleading guilty to two separate breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006, hse.gov.uk reports.

Karen Morris, HSE inspector, told constructionenquirer.com that she was disappointed that the people working on this building were put at risk needlessly, just because the asbestos survey was not supplied to the team.

Ms Morris said: “Everyone knows that asbestos is a potential killer, and the onus is on duty holders to implement proper control measures at all times when dealing with asbestos.”