October 2019 The Latest Asbestos Prosecutions

October 2019: Asbestos Prosecutions

Eliza Bonecka

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RJW Building Solutions Limited, a contractor carrying out refurbishment work at the Sea Hotel in South Shields, and Hotel 52 (Sea) Limited, the client company who arranged the work, have been sentenced after workers disturbed asbestos...

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SOUTHALLS COMMENT:

The recent sentencing of a Hotel and its Contractor for disturbing asbestos during renovation work highlights how vital it is for employers to be asbestos aware and to ensure a Refurbishment & Demolition survey has been undertaken prior to commencing refurbishment work. This type of survey is used to locate and describe, as far as reasonably practicable, all ACMs in the area where the refurbishment work will take place or in the whole building if demolition is planned and allows for any asbestos that is likely to be disturbed during the refurbishment to be safely removed BEFORE refurbishment work commences to prevent accidental exposure.

 

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A Freedom of Information request has revealed that the University of Lincoln is in the 86% of universities to respond confirming the presence of asbestos in their buildings. The request was sent by Stephensons Solicitors LLP, who said: "Stephensons' personal injury team is calling on all universities to do more to provide students and staff with information on the deadly material if there is asbestos on campus or in student accommodation."...

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SOUTHALLS COMMENT:

As part of the duty to manage asbestos set out in Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos regulations, duty holders are responsible for conducting asbestos surveys to identify if asbestos is present within a building and what risks it poses. Many buildings still have asbestos present and if it is in good condition and managed well it is safe to be left in-situ. However, many business owners are not aware of their legal responsibility to construct a follow-up asbestos management plan. A management plan allows duty holders to safely manage asbestos found in their premises.

 

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The hazardous material was fly-tipped last week on land near Charley Lane, Chinley, which is owned by Federal Mogul - forcing the company to step in and clear the site at its own expense...

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SOUTHALLS COMMENT:

Choosing the right contractor to remove asbestos containing materials is vital to ensure the asbestos is removed safety and disposed correctly.  Contractors working on or removing asbestos must be competent. Certain types of asbestos will need to be removed by a licensed contractor.  All asbestos waste is defined as ‘hazardous waste’ in England and the company carrying the waste must have a waste carriers licence.

If you are having asbestos removed you should always check that you have the right contractor for the job - is it licensed work and if so are they licensed? If it’s not licensed work are the contractors trained and competent to remove non licensed asbestos materials? Are there correct procedures in place to include safe removal of asbestos waste? Always ask to see evidence of competency – to include training records, licences, method statements and risk assessments to ensure you have the right contractor to do the job.   

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