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27 01, 2018

Company fined after employees exposed to asbestos fibres

2018-01-27T10:54:08+00:00 January 27th, 2018|Asbestos exposure|Comments Off on Company fined after employees exposed to asbestos fibres

SSE Hornsea Ltd, operators of a natural gas storage facility near Atwick on the East Yorkshire coast, has been sentenced today after 13 employees and contractors were exposed to asbestos fibres.

Gallery photograph

Beverley Magistrates’ Court heard that a team of three mechanical maintenance personnel were tasked with the removal of a non-return valve from a compressed air distribution system. Some of the sealing gasket material was difficult to remove so they used a wire brush mounted on an electric drill to remove the gasket material which spread fibres from the gasket around the maintenance workshop onto floors, work benches and clothing.

Not the actual area of asbestos

Two days later another employee of SSE Hornsea Ltd became suspicious of the fibrous dust, and having reported his concerns, arranged for a sample of the dust to be tested. It was found to contain chrysotile (white) asbestos fibres. The maintenance workshop was later closed to prevent access by employees and contractors.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuting told the court that the company had failed to identify in the risk assessment for this job that there were asbestos gaskets attached to the non-return valve. HSE also told the court that records held on site, which could have helped identify the presence of asbestos, were not adequate and that the maintenance team leader involved in this task had not undertaken asbestos awareness training.
SSE Hornsea Ltd of Inveralmond House, 200 Dunkeld Road, Perth pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2 (1) and 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc, Act 1974.
The company has been fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,731.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Paul Miller said: “In this case SSE Hornsea Ltd substantially failed to manage the risks associated with asbestos found within their process plant and have needlessly risked the future health of 13 people. Employers should ensure that they have in place adequate arrangements for both the identification and management of asbestos which may be found in buildings or process plant.”
“Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fibre which was widely used in both building and engineering materials for its strength, heat and chemical resistance. This can cause serious diseases including mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis which are often fatal. These diseases do not have an immediate effect, they often take a long time to develop, but once diagnosed, it is often too late to do anything. HSE’s Go Home Healthy campaign aims to prevent work-related lung disease by ensuring employers and workers have the information they need to work right.

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13 01, 2018

Heating engineers in court over asbestos

2018-01-13T17:57:04+00:00 January 13th, 2018|Asbestos exposure|Comments Off on Heating engineers in court over asbestos

A Stockport heating engineering firm was sentenced after two of its engineers were exposed to asbestos while working at a Manchester school.

Healthy Lung

Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard Flueclean was contracted to replace boilers in the boiler room of the school.

However, two of Flueclean’s gas engineers were exposed to asbestos when they took the side panels off boilers which had asbestos insulation on the boiler casing.

Stockport based Flueclean Installations Services pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 6(1) and 11(1) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and was fined £4000 for each breach with £3517 costs.

HSE inspector Kevin Jones said after the hearing: “Asbestos is the greatest cause of work related deaths in the UK with over 4000 deaths arising from past exposure.

“Contractors have a duty to ensure they protect their workers from the risk of exposure to asbestos and must properly plan any work which is likely to disturb it.

“In this case, Flueclean Installations Services Limited failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment which if they had would have clearly identified that the work should have been carried out by a licensed asbestos contractor. As a result of this failing, two of their operatives were exposed to asbestos.”

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