Workers were potentially exposed to dangerous asbestos fibres and given only baby wipes and a cold water hose for decontamination.
LJW Cladding Ltd was working at a farm building in Waltham, Essex last year, where it removed asbestos insulation board without a licence. It also failed to protect its workers falling from heights of up to four metres.
Chelmsford magistrates heard the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) was alerted by a member of the public concerned that unsafe work was being undertaken at the farm building (pictured below).
HSE’s investigation found that LJW Cladding Ltd had no licence to remove asbestos, despite telling the farm owner it did. None of the workers were trained to work with licensed asbestos and were also placed in danger of falling from height while removing the fragile asbestos boards.
HSE found that the work, carried out between 26th and 28th February 2014, was totally lacking in safety measures. Asbestos insulating boards were broken from their fixings with inadequate attempts to prevent the uncontrolled release of fibres. There was no use of an enclosure and the respiratory protective equipment provided to workers offered insufficient protection.
Instead of a full three-stage decontamination unit required for such work, all the workers had were baby wipes and the farm’s cold water hose. Contaminated overalls over normal clothing continued to be worn while the workers ate their lunch on site.
The investigation also identified a lack of fall prevention or protection measures.
I read today in Construction News a report from the Health & Safety Executive about a serious working at height accident in Plymouth. It never ceases to worry me that every week there seems to be a report about this type of accident. When will it stop?
Working at height should be one of the most simplest of tasks to adhere to the basic safety requirements laid down by the Working at Height Regulations 2005, and yet week after week, there are these needless accidents.
In the case mentioned above, the current costs stand at £25,627 and that’s just the court fees. The correct edge protection, Personal Protection Equipment and training would have been insignificant to these cost’s.
And it’s not just the fines; the ongoing litigation, financial losses, the physical and psychological impact will ripple out to the victims family and the future of the business as well. It just isn’t worth it, please do the right thing by your business and personnel. Use the right equipment, wear the correct PPE and ensure all staff are properly trained!
Do it right, do it safely!
For further information, please click on the following links:
Working at Height Access & Information Tool-kit
Working at Height – a brief guide
The Work at Height Regulations 2005
The day has finally arrived and the HSE’s updated legislation has gone live as of the 1st of October.
The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 have been amended to remove the requirement for HSE to approve first aid training and qualifications.
The change is part of HSE’s work to reduce the burden on businesses and put common sense back in to health and safety, while maintaining standards. The new approach applies to businesses of all sizes and from all sectors.
Information, including the regulations and guidance for employers is available on the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/firstaid/
Emergency 1st Aid for Adults at Work: Due to great demand we have now added some additional dates in October and November, please see Open Courses on our website for further details www.gettrained.co.uk
Since the recent introduction by the Health & Safety Executive of Fee For Intervention (FFI) the risks on business to ensure that all there employees and business processes are both 100% have increased enormously.
The risks are now huge fees of around £124 per hour if the HSE find any fault plus all the issues of rectifying faults found, loss of revenue and the impact this may have in the eyes of your clients
Employers need to ensure all their staff are fully trained to do the job they do and the records fully documented and that all business processes are correctly assessed for risks and fully documented. Continue reading