A furniture manufacturing company was sentenced today for failing to prevent exposure to asbestos containing materials at its factory in Newcastle upon Tyne.
An asbestos survey was carried out in 2003, which identified the presence of asbestos containing materials. It was heard in court that over a 14 year period, the company failed to introduce an adequate management plan or carry out remedial work to prevent exposure to asbestos fibres. In 2017, an employee raised a concern to the HSE (Health and Safety Executive).
An investigation, lead by the HSE, found that the company (Godfrey-Syrett Limited) had failed to take the necessary measures to protect employees from exposure to asbestos. It also failed to ensure that maintenance workers were made aware of the location of the asbestos to ensure they did not disturb it.
Godfrey-Syrett Limited (in administration), was found guilty in it’s absence of breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and regulation 4(8) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. The District judge said the fine would have been £800,000, but this was reduced to £1 due to the company being administration.
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