At Birmingham Magistrates’ Court, a Birmingham based machining manufacturer (‘the company’) was fined after pleading guilty to breaching Health & Safety Regulations.
Amandeep Murria of Kangs Solicitors sets out the circumstances.
The Circumstances | Kangs Solicitors Health and Safety Team
The Court heard how workers of the company were exposed to asbestos fibres whilst they were in the process of demolishing an internal wall.
An investigation was undertaken by The Health & Safety Executive which concluded that:
- there had been no survey undertaken to establish if asbestos was present within the premises
- there had been a failure to maintain an up to date asbestos management plan for the premises.
- proper precautions were not put in place when the asbestos insulations sheets were removed
- unlicensed individuals had been carrying out the work
- appropriate safeguards had not been implemented to ensure the asbestos fibres did not spread.
The Relevant Law | Kangs Regulatory Law Advisors
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (‘the Act’) provides:
‘2 General duties of employers to their employees.
(1) It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of an employer’s duty under the preceding subsection, the matters to which that duty extends include in particular—
(a) the provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health;
(b) arrangements for ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances;
(c) the provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees;
(d) so far as is reasonably practicable as regards any place of work under the employer’s control, the maintenance of it in a condition that is safe and without risks to health and the provision and maintenance of means of access to and egress from it that are safe and without such risks;
(e) the provision and maintenance of a working environment for his employees that is, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe, without risks to health, and adequate as regards facilities and arrangements for their welfare at work.’
The Hearing | Kangs Health and Safety Solicitors
The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 2 (1) of the Act and was:
- fined £20,000
- ordered to pay Prosecution Costs of £2,454.40
An Inspector from the Health & Safety Executive, Tariq Khan was quoted as saying:
“Asbestos in buildings needs to be managed or removed by competent contractors. Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working. The company needed to follow the proper procedures by carrying out an asbestos survey and formulating an asbestos management plan as well as training those responsible for managing asbestos”.
How Can We Help? | Kangs Safety At Work Solicitors
Our specialist solicitors are able to provide advice and assistance throughout the entire criminal process, from the initial intervention by the Health and Safety Executive through to enforcement, interview under caution and ultimately the defence of any ensuing criminal prosecution.
Who Can I Contact For Help? | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors
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