June 16, 2017 admin No Comments

Allium Engaging with Safety Professionals

Jason Hocking our Technical Manager was delighted recently to be asked to give a presentation on Asbestos Regulations and Asbestos Removal by Hazel Joyes, Chair of the Somerset Occupational Health and Safety Association.

Always happy to stand around chatting, Jason dashed off to Taunton where 15 members of the group attended the short seminar held at the Western Power Training Venue.
Whilst all the members present had their own specialisations and were already well versed in the main requirements of CAR 2012, it was felt that they may benefit from a discussion around choosing a reputable and competent contractor, checking enforcement history and what to expect from a licensed contractor on site; from segregating working areas and signage to enclosure construction, controlled stripping techniques, re-occupation certificates and waste transfer notes.

After the event Jason commented that “it was a pleasure to discuss these subjects with professionals who were truly interested in the practical side of dealing with asbestos. There was lively debate with lots of relevant questions so I hope everyone learnt something useful”.

If you are engaged in Health and Safety in Somerset, why not consider joining SOHSA? Take a look at their website www.sohsa.co.uk

May 15, 2017 Imogen Coleman No Comments

Barroerock Fined £750k for Asbestos Failure

Barroerock Fined £750k for Asbestos Failure

London based Barroerock Construction Limited plead guilty to repeated asbestos failing’s resulting in a hefty fine of three-quarters of a million pounds.

Judge hammer in court hearing regarding asbestos management offence

Image source: bloomsberries

Canterbury Crown Court heard how between the years of 2013 and 2014, two investigations were carried out by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) to a site in Ashford, Kent where Barroerock carried out works to a nine-storey office building known to contain asbestos.

The first, a routine inspection, identified that a refurbishment and demolition (R&D) survey had been carried out however the contractor had failed to act upon it. In turn, 40 workers were known to be exposed to harmful asbestos during the demolition project.

The second followed after allegations of breaching health and safety practices on-site. Unable to provide documentation to prove asbestos materials had been correctly removed, Barroerock pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 22 (1) (a) of the Construction Design & Management Regulations 2007.

HSE inspector Melvyn Stancliffe said after the hearing:

‘The company’s failings in this case has put many workers at risk to the exposure of asbestos. It was clear there was an endemic failure to effectively manage the construction work on the site in a way which ensured that asbestos materials were not disturbed until removed under appropriate conditions. Failing to prevent the breathing in of asbestos fibres on the site is reckless.’

You can find the full story here.

Are you undertaking any refurbishment/demotion works? Talk to one of our team to book a survey today.

April 21, 2017 Imogen Coleman No Comments

Hostel Hit With £44k Court Bill For Failure Of Asbestos Survey

Hostel Hit With £44k Court Bill For Failure Of Asbestos Survey

 

‘The workers working on that basement are sent into an environment where there are potential areas of asbestos, just as a soldier is sent into a minefield without a map’ – Manchester Crown Court, prosecutor Joseph Hart

Judge hammer in court hearing regarding asbestos management offence

Image source: bloomsberries

A hostel in Manchester has been hit with over £44K in fines and court costs due to failure to commission an asbestos survey prior to a refurbishment project.

19th Century built Hatters Hostel based in the Northern Quarter was scrutinised by Manchester Crown Court for potentially exposing their workers to life threatening substances in the eight month period of works  carried out.

Although the company was known for having an ‘impeccable’ health and safety record, the failure of duty of care seen a large volume of workers as quoted by prosecutor Joseph Hart ‘sent into an environment where there are potential areas of asbestos, just as a solider is sent into a minefield without a map’.

HSE inspector Matt Greenly commented ‘The requirement to have a suitable asbestos survey is clear and well known throughout the construction industry. Only by knowing if asbestos is present in any building before works commence can a contractor ensure that people working on their site are not exposed to these deadly fibres.’

Read the full story here.

Are you undertaking any refurbishment works in your building? Speak to one of our team to book a survey today.

April 5, 2017 admin No Comments

Failure to commission an asbestos survey

Staines Magistrates’ Court heard how Kingsley Asbestos Services Ltd (KAS) was working as a subcontractor to Bourne Valley Construction Services Ltd (BVCS).

KAS removed some asbestos-containing materials and agreed to carry out repair works on other water damaged materials within the properties. During works to cut away damaged wall coverings in the kitchen, one of the workers cut into a pale coloured board, which subsequent testing proved to be asbestos insulation board.

A Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that BVCS had failed to plan the work and pass on appropriate information to KAS. It was the responsibility of both BVCS and KAS to arrange for a refurbishment and demolition survey. As a consequence, work was carried out without establishing the location, presence and extent of asbestos-containing materials on site.

HSE inspector Rebekah Dunn said: “Asbestos still kills around 5,000 workers each year and around 20 tradesmen die each week as a result of past exposure. BVCS were in control of the works and should have provided information identified in such a survey or assessment regarding the presence of asbestos to KAS as their subcontractor.”

Bourne Valley Construction Services Ltd of Salisbury, Wiltshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13 (2) of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007, was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay full costs.

Kingsley Asbestos Services Ltd of Ferring in Worthing pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5 (1) (a) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay full costs.

November 8, 2016 admin No Comments

HSE – Unannounced visits

HSE construction inspectors are carrying out unannounced visits to sites where refurbishment projects or repair works are underway.

This year the Initiative is being undertaken as a series of two week inspections across the country.

During this period inspectors will ensure high-risk activities, particularly those affecting the health of workers, are being properly managed.

Once such check is to see if workers are aware of where they may find asbestos.