Serious asbestos failings land firms with £25,000 fine

23rd December 2014

Two Northampton firms will need to pay fines of more than £25,000 between them for a number of asbestos-related failings.

Lifting Systems Ltd and Durasteel Services Ltd were prosecuted by the Heath and Safety Executive (HSE) at Northampton Magistrates’ Court this week. The former had hired the latter to refurbish a cement roof, which contained asbestos, at Crown Works in Far Cotton, reports northamptonchron.co.uk.

During a visit in October 2013, HSE inspectors discovered that asbestos insulation board had been removed on premises and was being stored there too. Asbestos debris was also found around the site in various waste skips. Durasteel Service was issued a Prohibition Notice, and work was stopped immediately.

The HSE found out during its investigation that Lifting Systems had carried out a lot of refurbishment work, despite the fact it did not have an up-to-date asbestos register. Moreover, it didn’t conduct a demolition and refurbishment survey either, reports hse.gov.uk. In fact, neither firm was licensed to remove asbestos.

Sam Russell, a HSE inspector, said the renovation work had started three months prior to HSE’s inspection, meaning the removal of the dangerous material had not been controlled for some time.

“Lifting Systems Ltd made little effort to survey or identify asbestos in the premises before starting work, so failed to identify the presence of asbestos insulation board lining panels underneath the asbestos roofing sheets,” he noted.

“The panels were broken up and placed in skips, putting construction workers and other employees at risk of exposure to carcinogenic asbestos fibres.”