Do you know that asbestos kills around 5,000 workers in the UK each year and around 20 tradesmen die each week as a result of past exposure? Sadly, it’s still a reality as two recent asbestos related cases show, and it needs careful attention.
In the first case a landlord was fined £1200 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £607.21 for a failure to obtain an asbestos survey. The building contractor who started the work without the survey was sentenced to 150 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £595.61.
In a second case an employee who was unaware of the presence of asbestos fibres within a kitchen cupboard door cut through the door and disturbed the asbestos fibres. The employer company failed to realise that the door had not been surveyed.
Doing an asbestos survey is essential to successfully manage asbestos. It will also provide accurate information on the location, amount and condition of asbestos-containing materials.
There is a clear lesson for business owners to carry out the correct control measures and to ensure that all the planned work areas are surveyed.
The HSE has issued detailed information and guidance around asbestos this includes how to work safely with asbestos and asbestos training.