Manufacturer fined after workers exposed to asbestos

A machining manufacturer has been fined after workers were exposed to asbestos fibres whilst demolishing an internal wall.

Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard how the workers were asked to remove the internal wall by their manager. There was no asbestos survey or an up to date asbestos management plan for the premises.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that asbestos insulation sheets were removed unsafely without proper precautions and by unlicensed individuals from the company without any safeguards in place to prevent the spread of the asbestos fibres.

Birmingham Specialities Ltd of Moor Lane, Birmingham pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company has been fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,454.40.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Tariq Khan said:

“Asbestos in buildings needs to be managed or removed by competent contractors. Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working.

The company needed to follow the proper procedures by carrying out an asbestos survey and formulating an asbestos management plan as well as training those responsible for managing asbestos”.