Dairy Crest Limited and Rochdale Electric Welding Company Limited (REWCO) have been fined for exposing employees to asbestos dust at an industrial site in Devon.
Plymouth Crown Court heard that Dairy Crest had agreed to sell boilers from the redundant plant at Totnes, plus another site in Somerset, to REWCO, with the welding firm also dismantling all associated fixed plant pipework at both sites and demolishing the boiler house at Totnes as part of the purchase. During the removal of the industrial boilers, pipework and a boiler house, asbestos dust was released and was not cleaned up until two days later. The workers were not provided with suitable personal protective equipment and wore normal work clothes that became contaminated with asbestos dust.
A Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigation revealed the companies failed to carry out sufficient enquiries to determine whether asbestos was present and failed to properly identify, manage and control the asbestos prior to the work being carried out. The companies also failed to provide the workers with appropriate protection thereby exposing them to asbestos dust.
Dairy Crest Limited was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay a further £22,214 in costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 in its capacity as the main duty holder for the site.
Rochdale Electric Welding Company Limited, pleaded guilty to two breaches of the same legislation for its role in undertaking the work. The company was fined a total of £8,000 with £13,786 in costs.
For further information please click on the following link: http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2013/rnn-sw-dairy-crest-rewco.htm