Branston Pickle Company Fined £120,000 For Failing To Comply With Asbestos Laws
31 Mar 2017
A food company and their contractor were fined after asbestos was disturbed during building work at its Bruntwood Site in the West Midlands. The asbestos was only identified by chance when an asbestos removal contractor attended site.
Exposure to asbestos fibres and dust puts people at risk of developing asbestos related conditions including mesothelioma, a cancer of the pleura, the lining of the lung, lung cancer, pleural thickening, asbestosis and pleural plaques. According to the HSE approximately 5,000 people die from asbestos related conditions each year in the UK.
Mizkan Euro Limited were carrying out work at their factory premises but failed to carry out an asbestos survey. The company only had a management survey for the premises. A licenced asbestos contractor should have been brought in to remove the asbestos safely from the wall of the factory, instead asbestos insulation boards were broken up and deposited in a skip outside risking exposing both their contractor and employees to asbestos fibres and dust.
Stafford Crown Court heard the asbestos was only identified by chance when an asbestos removal contractor attended the site. No asbestos survey had been carried out by Mizkan Euro Ltd or D H Welton & Co Ltd, the contractor engaged to carry out the work and either company could have commissioned a refurbishment/demolition survey before the work commenced.
Mizkan Euro Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act for failing to plan and manage the work carried out under their control and was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay costs of £13,589.
D H Welton & Co Ltd, Manchester admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act and The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 for failing to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment as to whether asbestos was present or liable to be present during the removal of a wall. The company was fined £45,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,529.
Fozia Hussain of the Asbestos Law Partnership commented “Whenever building work is carried out in old buildings it is essential that the correct procedures for identifying and removing asbestos are followed otherwise people are put at risk of being exposed to asbestos dust which may then lead to them developing an asbestos related condition including mesothelioma decades later.”
Click here for the HSE Article.
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