Subbies use domestic vacuum to clean up asbestos

Grant Prior 5 years ago
Share

A North East glass firm has been fined after potentially exposing nearly 200 workers and visitors to dangerous asbestos fibres at its Consett premises.

Sunderland-based Romag Ltd also ignored recommendations from its own safety advisors to cordon off a contaminated area and arrange for an emergency clean-up by specialists.

The incident was triggered by two fire alarm installers when they started some work at the firm’s Princess Building on Leadgate Industrial Estate in July 2011.

Consett Magistrates’ Court heard that the two subcontractors, who had been told the building was free from asbestos, unknowingly drilled through an asbestos insulation panel while installing fire sensors.

They then used a domestic vacuum cleaner to clean up the dust and debris and later used it in several parts of the building as they put up the sensors, spreading asbestos fibres around the premises.

The court was told the asbestos disturbance was discovered the next day but Romag Ltd failed to take any appropriate action for at least nine days, even though its own health and safety advisors had urged it to cordon off and lock down the area and arrange for an emergency clean-up and air clearance test.

HSE found the firm’s delay in taking action led to 180 workers and 16 visitors being put at risk of exposure to asbestos fibres.

When the clean-up was organised, a substantial amount of contaminated material was collected.

Romag Ltd, of Sunderland pleaded guilty to safety beaches and was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £12,638 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Paul Miller said: “Romag Ltd needlessly put at risk the health of nearly 200 people because they failed to identify the presence of asbestos before any work started and then compounded the failing by not acting quickly to clean the area properly.

“Any company that intends to do work to the fabric of a property built prior to the year 2000 must ensure that they have taken all reasonable steps to check whether asbestos is present before any work starts.

“That information must be then shared with anyone involved in the proposed work.”

Latest news

Kier slumps to £35.5m loss as problem contracts continue

Workloads wobbling in highways, utilities and housing maintenance markets
10 hours ago

Griffiths to restart Dawnus £14m Swansea road job

Welsh civils firm to take on Kingsway city centre scheme
4 hours ago

Hunt for £6bn Meridian Water phase 2 developer

Up to 250 affordable homes to be built in Meridian Two scheme
9 hours ago

BBC construction skills blasted over EastEnders set woes

Lack of project management skills leads to £27m cost over-run and five-year delay
8 hours ago

Go-ahead for £175m Cumbrian deep coal mine

Plans advance for Britain's first deep coal mine for 30 years
18 hours ago

Hi Vis site wear launched for pregnant women

Clothing designed to make life safer and more comfortable "from bump to baby"
10 hours ago

Speedy buys powered access hirer for £9.6m

Lifterz deal allows Speedy to offer nationwide powered access equipment hire
10 hours ago

Build to rent specialist plans Bolton urban village

Placefirst to use in-house contractor for £27.5m scheme
11 hours ago

Water winners revealed for £2bn Severn Trent spend

More contractors win first lots on AMP7 as client revamps working practices
1 day ago

Stranded Carillion chief takes helm at Kier

Andrew Davies named new Kier chief executive
1 day ago

Interserve £170m prison project to be rebid

Ministry of Justice confirms Glen Parva to be tendered as a publicly funded project
1 day ago

Cabinet Office promises Interserve subbies will get paid

Parliamentary Secretary makes pledge in House of Commons debate
1 day ago

Sir Robert McAlpine commercial director exits

Martin Pitt steps down from board after four years at group
1 day ago

Lakehouse subbies plan showdown with Sureserve bosses

Suppliers owed millions to demand answers at company AGM
2 days ago

Tolent to build first homes at £400m Leeds scheme

Builder gets foot in the door with prototype homes for Kirkstall Forge
1 day ago

Boost your online presence – join the Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers showcases products, services and latest stories
11 months ago

Interserve subcontractors told it’s business as usual

Outsourcers circle Interserve support services division
2 days ago

Morgan Sindall wins 20-year Sellafield civils deal

Four teams named for Sellafield decommissioning project partnership
2 days ago

Hunt for quartet to deliver £700m Birmingham Uni pipeline

University is preparing to deliver phase two of its estate masterplan
2 days ago

Stepnell wins £14m Northampton Vulcan works redevelopment

Historic factory to be refurbished for business start-ups
2 days ago

Hunt starts for developer on £200m South Shields scheme

South Tyneside Council looking for housing partner and remediation specialist
2 days ago

Revamp plans for Birmingham Moor Street station unveiled

Transfer deck across the top of station will connect to all platforms
2 days ago

Interserve workers told to report for work as usual

Interserve subsidiaries to trade solvently as PLC business pre-packed
5 days ago

Interserve to file for administration as rescue rejected

Shareholders vote down rescue plan
5 days ago

Dawnus Group goes into administration

Grant Thornton now in charge of contractor which employed 700 staff
5 days ago

Bricklayer killed by collapsing wall

Court hands out £900,000 fine but contractor went into administration six months after tragedy
5 days ago

Dawnus collapse a “Welsh Carillion”

Subcontractors braced for huge losses as administrators poised to take control
5 days ago

Taylor Woodrow losses halve Vinci UK profits

Building operations trade profitably but Taylor Woodrow suffers fifth year in the red
5 days ago

Plans in for £70m Edinburgh botanic garden revamp

New glasshouse features in major overhaul plan
5 days ago

Mace to steer £350m Stevenage town centre revamp

Work set to begin on site next year
5 days ago

Contractor services