Companies fined after young worker exposed to asbestos

July 11, 2024

Companies fined after young worker exposed to asbestos

Two companies have been fined after a teenage worker was exposed to asbestos.

The 16-year-old had been working for P Turnbull Joinery and Building Services Ltd on an outbuilding of a domestic property after the firm had been hired by Alt Berg Holding Limited to refurbish the property in Richmond, North Yorkshire.

He had been breaking up cement sheets taken from the roof of the property and putting them into a skip on 7 June 2021. Asbestos was later found to be in the cement sheets, exposing the worker to asbestos fibres.

Investigating, the HSE found that Alt Berg Holdings Limited had failed to carry out an asbestos refurbishment and demolition survey of the property, which would have identified the asbestos. P Turnbull Joinery and Building Services Ltd had not properly assessed the work and failed to prevent the worker being exposed to asbestos.

P Turnbull Joinery and Building Services Ltd, of Attwood Terrace, Wolsingham, Durham, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £500 in costs.

Alt Berg Holdings Limited, of Moor Road, Melsonby, Richmond, North Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(4) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £1,950 in costs.

HSE
June 2024

Our Comment

This prosecution illustrates the fact that a suitable and sufficient asbestos refurbishment and demolition survey of the building undertaken by the client and provided to the contractor before work started would have identified the presence of asbestos in the roofing materials. The contractor could have ensured that suitable controls were put in place and the asbestos removed safely before further work was undertaken.

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