Company fined after failure to act on asbestos risks
An engineering firm from County Durham has been fined after asbestos was discovered at their factory and it was found that they had failed to document or manage the risks to employees or visitors to the site.
Darlington Magistrates’ Court heard how Blue Diamond Engineering Limited was notified of the presence of asbestos materials during a survey carried out at the company’s factory premises in 2006.
Work undertaken at the premises had the potential to disturb the hazardous asbestos materials, and until HSE’s intervention, the company had not documented or implemented an Asbestos Management Plan to adequately control the risk of exposure.
Blue Diamond Engineering Limited, of Shildon Industrial Estate, Shildon, was fined a total of £11,000, with costs of £1,610 after pleading guilty to offences under Regulation 4(8)(b) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
Speaking after the hearing Health and Safety Executive Inspector Michael Kingston said: “Asbestos kills around 5,000 workers each year, this is more than the number killed on UK roads. Asbestos can be present within any premises built or refurbished before the year 2000. This prosecution should serve as a warning to companies to properly manage the risks of asbestos exposure. Whenever asbestos containing materials are found to be present, companies have a legal duty to document and implement an Asbestos Management Plan which includes measures to adequately control the risk of exposure to asbestos fibres.”