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Asbestos contamination could have been prevented, says HSE

20th April 2011 | Health and Safety Signs

Posted by Ben Alexander

A case of asbestos exposure has highlighted the importance of health and safety signs in the workplace to warn staff of danger.

A contracting firm has been fined £10,000 and over £3,000 in costs after workers were exposed to asbestos while working on student blocks at the College of St Mark and St John in Plymouth.

CLC Contractors Ltd had agreed with a specialist asbestos removal company that they would work simultaneously in areas already cleared of asbestos by the specialist removers.

However CLC's workers actually began work in part of the building that had not been cleared of asbestos, meaning that four employees who were exposed to fibres had to go through a specialist decontamination process.

Barry Trudgian, an inspector for the Health and Safety Executive, said: "This incident could have been avoided if an adequate risk assessment had been made before the work started and communicated clearly to the workforce."

The firm could have alerted workers about asbestos areas with safety signage, which could direct them to decontaminated areas.

HSE figures show that asbestos-related diseases cause around 4,000 deaths a year.ADNFCR-2754-ID-800507834-ADNFCR



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