Steven Kelly, an asbestos expert has been fined by Trafford Magistrates’ Court for exposing workers under his supervision to asbestos fibres at Trafford College in Greater Manchester.
Winsulate was hired to carry out asbestos removal work during a refurbishment project. The Court heard that Health & safety Executive (HSE) inspectors carried out an unannounced visit to the college during the evening on 12 December 2012 and they witnessed three men working without suitable protective clothing or masks in an area of the college where asbestos was being removed.
Mr Kelly was the supervisor on the project but he ignored the company’s procedures on working with asbestos and had sent the men into the undercroft beneath the classrooms, which had been sealed off from the rest of the building, to fix the temporary lighting. They were wearing their own clothes instead of disposable clothing under their overalls, and half masks instead of full-face respiratory masks. The men were also wearing lace-up instead of wellington boots, which meant asbestos fibres could stick to their laces or get inside their boots.
Mr Kelly is a fully-trained and qualified supervisor in licensed asbestos removal but, despite this, several other issues were also discovered on the site. These included insufficient water for workers to properly sponge down boots and masks to stop fibres becoming airborne, used clothing discarded inside the enclosure, and a failure to carry out daily checks on masks.
Mr Kelly was fined £790 and ordered to pay costs of £250 after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to take reasonable care of workers under his supervision.
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