Asbestos exposure officials fined

07 Sep 2011

A caretaker and two sub-contractors, tasked with refurbishing the reception area of a primary school, were exposed to asbestos because officials did not assess the risks involved.

Birmingham City Council arranged for Solihull Supplies to strip tiles from seven rooms in the school, a job which lasted several hours.

A subsequent investigation by safety inspectors found the tiles were full of brown asbestos and that the two sub-contractors and the school caretaker were needlessly exposed to the cancer-causing mineral.

The sub-contracting firm, which cannot be named for legal reasons, also did not have a licence to remove the asbestos at William Cowper Community Primary School in the city's Newtown area.

Both the council and Solihull Supplies admitted breaking the law by failing to carry out risk assessments.

The sub-contractor is still the subject of criminal proceedings.

Birmingham City Council admitted breaking sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It was handed a £5,000 fine and was ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,091.

Solihull Supplies, based in Knowle, admitted breaking regulation 6(1)(a) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006. It was given a £1,750 fine and must pay the same court costs as the council.

Copyright Press Association 2011

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