12 Oct 2018
Since the banning of the use of asbestos in construction in the late 1990s, it is easy to think that it no longer represents a danger. In fact, an alarming amount of building professionals still don’t fully understand the need to abide by asbestos regulations during any asbestos removal and disposal works. This ignorance of the facts surrounding how to remove asbestos safely puts countless lives at risk, each and every day.
An illustration of this lack of awareness can be found in the recent story of a Bristol construction firm that was fined for performing unlicensed asbestos disposal at the Cherry Tree public house in the Oldham Common area. The company was fined £7,000 after an investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive found that asbestos insulation was left unguarded and unmonitored outside the premises.
Not only this, but the firm - TW Parker - was found to be disposing of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) in with its normal building debris, despite having previously been advised to conduct asbestos surveys before commencing any work. Chief amongst the raft of failings from this company were neglecting to heed warnings that materials in the building had been marked as containing ACMs and the subsequent failure to employ one of the many asbestos companies in the UK to undertake the removal.
Whether it was ignorance or negligence that caused the firm to act inappropriately, the fact that it happened at all serves as a warning to businesses everywhere. If there’s any chance that asbestos is present in your building, failure to do the right thing can cost a company a fortune in fines and compensation, and that’s even before we even begin to talk about the devastation exposure can cause to a person’s health.
If you would like to find out any more about asbestos awareness, asbestos regulations or anything discussed here, please take a look through our website www.ohss.ie or give us a call on 01 6905907. We have more than 15 years of experience in the field of occupational hygiene and safety and we’re to help in any we can.