Friday 28th of February 2014 10:04
A trust providing housing and care for the elderly and two firms hired to carry out refurbishment work at its premises in Alnwick have been fined after staff and residents were put at risk of exposure to asbestos.
West Yorkshire firm Express Elevators Ltd was contracted by Anchor Trust to replace the lift at St Paul's Court sheltered housing scheme in November 2012. PC Lifts, of London, was subcontracted to remove the existing lift ahead of the new one being installed.
The lift shaft contained asbestos boards, which PC Lifts removed without putting any measures in place to prevent the spread of asbestos fibres.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) today (6 February) told Bedlington Magistrates' Court that Anchor Trust had a duty as the client to ensure that arrangements made for managing the lift replacement were suitable, and ensured there was no risk to health.
They failed in this duty as they provided Express Elevators Ltd with conflicting information and, although an asbestos survey was provided, it was not sufficiently accurate or detailed enough for the work being carried out.
The combined failures of all three parties led to the unsafe removal of the asbestos and the potential spread of asbestos fibres, which exposed residents and others to a potential risk to their health.
Anchor Trust, of Bedford Street, London, was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £346.40 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 9(1)(a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.
Express Elevators Ltd, of Otley Road, Baildon, Shipley, West Yorkshire was fined £8,000 with £827.30 costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 13(2) of the same legislation.
PC Lifts Ltd, of St John Street, London, was fined £4,000 with £346.40 costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
(This news item has been taken from a report by the Health and Safety Executive)