28th August 2018
Wood Processing Company fined after unsafe asbestos work is carried out
Wood Treatment Ltd of Macclesfield has been fined £2,000 and ordered to pay over £3,000 for legal costs and a victim surcharge. The charge relates to unsafe work on their own property, which contained asbestos.
Back in 2016, after a large explosion at the site, the HSE ordered the company to fit new explosion relief panels to a warehouse which contained asbestos cladding. The HSE then carried out a subsequent inspection to assess progress. It was found that the panels – which contained asbestos – had been removed, cut to shape and then replaced. This was a clear breach of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
Although an external company had been used to fit explosion relief panels, it transpired that these did not work with asbestos-containing materials, hence the employees simply refitted the previous panels.
The company could not claim that they were unaware of their wrongdoing, as they already had an Asbestos Survey and Action Plan. However they did not share this information with employees and no measures were put in place to contain the risks involved with asbestos.
The HSE’s inspector Ian Betley commented: “Asbestos is responsible for thousands of deaths in the UK every year but it only becomes dangerous when it is broken up and fibres are released into the air.
“Asbestos should only be removed by specialist contractors Wood Treatment Ltd put workers at risk by not following the correct safety procedures.”