Asbestos firms must give employees 'adequate information'
Posted by Ben Alexander.
Adequate training, information and guidance, such as the use of safety signs, must be given to employees of asbestos firms, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has said, following the prosecution of a refurbishment business.
North Tyneside Magistrates' Court heard how High View Services' manager, Neil Brown, had not organised any asbestos awareness training – a legal requirement – for his employees.
This is despite contact with the potentially dangerous mineral being something that could regularly happen in the course of their work.
The breach was discovered when an asbestos-related incident was investigated last year (January 6th 2009) after Mr Brown's company was involved in the heating upgrade of a private residence in the Killingworth area of Tyneside.
Mr Brown was fined £360 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 10(1)(a) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and ordered to pay £360 costs.
"Any employer who conducts work which may result in their employees coming into contact with asbestos must make sure they receive adequate information, instruction and training to help control not just the risks to themselves but others who may also be exposed," HSE inspector Graham Watson said.
He added that some employees think that because forms of asbestos were banned in 1985 and 1999, they are no longer at risk and asbestos is no longer a problem. However, he explained this is not the case and as such, "adequate information, instruction and training is essential".
According to the HSE, around 4,000 people die each year from asbestos-related diseases.
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