Asbestos case highlights importance of warning signs
Posted by Nicole Stevens.
A construction firm has been fined £13,000 for employing an unqualified contractor to remove asbestos-containing materials at a site it was readying for demolition, exposing its workers to the potentially dangerous mineral.
Asbestos can pose a risk to the health of both employees and members of the public, making warning signs imperative.
Derby-based Quarnmill Construction provided the contractor with a survey outlining the work to be done in October 2009, but did not check that he held a licence to remove asbestos or that he was suitable to carry out the work – both of which are required by law.
When the work was underway, Quarnmill contacted the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to say it suspected the site had become contaminated with asbestos as a consequence of the work carried out by the contractor.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Carol Southerd said: "Quarnmill did not check the competence of the contractor to do this job nor that he had a suitable licence. This check is required by law.
"His unsuitability was eventually discovered after a consultant checked the HSE website and reported him, but by this time it was too late."
Asbestos is the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in the UK.
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