Health & Safety News

News added on 03.01.2017

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Asbestos

Taking responsibility for managing asbestos

Connect Packaging Ltd (CP) moved into leased premises in Benfleet, Essex. On occupation, it was identified that asbestos-containing material (ACMs) were present. However, although the company was aware of it, no action to remove it or make it safe was taken. What was the outcome?

CP moved out, subletting the units to Creo Retail Marketing Ltd (CRM). Shortly afterwards, it was decided that the ACMs should probably be removed, but CRM and CP disagreed over who should pay and this caused a considerable delay. During the delay, concerned staff contacted the HSE who investigated and found that both parties had failed to protect the occupants from the ACMs. In court, CP was fined £65,000 and ordered to pay £8,150.23 in costs after pleading guilty to one breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA) and breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR).

CRM was fined £150,000 and ordered to pay £8,149.63 in costs after pleading guilty to two breaches of the HSWA and breaches of the CAR.

If you’re aware of the presence of ACMs - especially if in poor condition - you must take steps to make it safe or have it removed, or you run the very real risk of prosecution. Unlike in this case, don’t allow disputes about who is responsible for paying stop you from taking appropriate action. 

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