On 5 August 2014, at Teesside Magistrates’ Court, a Hartlepool firm and two of its directors, together with a second company from Doncaster, were found guilty of safety breaches by putting workers at risk of exposure to asbestos.
In February 2013, Baxketh Ltd, a metal recycling company, had agreed to remove steel work from the premises of another company, UK Tankcleaning Services Ltd. Some of the steel being removed was pipework that appeared to be covered with asbestos lagging but Baxketh Ltd put no measures in place to protect the workers from the spread of any asbestos fibres.
Following a complaint from a neighbouring worksite, inspectors from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) visited UK Tankcleaning Services Ltd whilst the work was being undertaken. The two directors of Baxketh Ltd, Michael Almond Snr and Michael Almond Jnr, were seen working on the site amongst the pipework and damaged insulation. It was later confirmed that the insulation did contain asbestos.
Work on the site was stopped immediately by a Prohibition Notice served on Baxketh Ltd who had carried out work without assessing whether or not asbestos was present. An Improvement Notice was also served on UK Tankcleaning Services to ensure that they carried out an asbestos survey and shared the results with workers who were liable to disturb any asbestos on site in the future.
Baxketh Ltd was fined £12,000 plus costs and UK Tankcleaning Services Ltd was fined £10,000 plus costs after both pleading guilty to breaching the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. Mr Almond Snr and Mr Almond Jnr pleaded guilty to breaches of the same regulations and were fined a total of £1,650. Mr Almond Snr was also ordered to pay costs in the case.
For more information, please click on the following link: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2014/directors-and-two-firms-fined-for-potential-asbestos-risk/?eban=govdel-press-release&cr=05-Aug-2014