School Refurbishment Works Sees Asbestos Exposure Blunder

Two construction companies have been fined after their subcontractors were exposed to asbestos fibres.

2016 saw some refurbishment works carried out in a junior school in Derby. The subcontractors were removing suspended ceiling tiles from rooms when they entered a store room which had a suspended ceiling containing asbestos.

Unaware of the ceiling tiles containing asbestos, they started to remove the tiles, potentially exposing themselves to harmful asbestos fibres.
A licensed removal contractor who was working on site alerted the management to the situation, and action was taken to stop the works and contain the area of contamination.

It was found that the main contractor for the site failed to effectively plan, manage and monitor the works to prevent accidental removal of the asbestos containing tiles. Additionally, it was also heard that the company provided only a generic risk assessment and method statement which failed to identify important information including the risk of asbestos.

Between them, they were fined in excess of £168,000.

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