Subbies use domestic vacuum to clean up asbestos

Grant Prior 6 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

Restructure returns Sir Robert McAlpine to profit

McAlpine delivers £7m profit in turnaround year after £3.8m in redundancy pay-outs
13 hours ago

Bridge construction uses mountain building techniques

First steel sections installed at stunning Tintagel Castle bridge
9 hours ago

27% of roof steel stripped from HS2 station design

Value engineers save £7m on Balfour Beatty/Vinci's Old Oak Common station project
18 hours ago

Scape slashes firms on next generation Venture framework

Venture Framework contractors cut from 13 to six firms
2 days ago

Galliford Try Partnerships buys northern builder

£62m turnover Strategic Team Group to be renamed Galliford Try Partnerships Yorkshire
1 day ago

FRP Advisory appointed Shaylor administrator

Administrator confirms around 200 redundancies at collapsed Midlands contractor
2 days ago

Buckingham bags relief road for HS2 village

New route will spare Northamptonshire village from site traffic
19 hours ago

Skills card scheme shuts safety test loophole

Tightening up of rules will see everyone sit a current CITB safety test
18 hours ago

Kier cutting 1,200 jobs and selling housing arm

Contractor quitting non-core operations as debt levels rise again
2 days ago

Boost your online presence – join the Enquirer Directory

Site for suppliers and buyers showcases products, services and latest stories
1 year ago

Shaylor staff laid-off by Sunday morning email

Over 200 staff to be axed as directors confirm Shaylor is heading for administration
2 days ago

Willmott Dixon margin hits 2.8% as profit soars

Group builds cash reserve to weather further Brexit project delays
2 days ago

Multiplex brings profit back on track

Profit recovers to £18m on revenue of £1.1bn
2 days ago

Roof safety horror show lands contractor in court

Photos show roofers risking their lives after HSE had already served a stop notice
2 days ago

United Living wins £18m Poole tower blocks revamp

Project Admiral will see four housing tower blocks upgraded
2 days ago

Shaylor files notice of intent to appoint administrator

Subcontractors walk off sites as Midlands contractor seeks extra finance
4 days ago

Bidders day for £900m Heathrow rail tunnel project

Planned 6.5km rail link between the Great Western Main Line and London Heathrow Airport
5 days ago

Grenfell: 75% of unsafe blocks still to be reclad

Owners of 328 high rise blocks still need to complete remediation
5 days ago

Building products firm Alumasc issues profit warning

Problems at Levolux division cast shadow over upcoming results
5 days ago

Wooden football stadium plan rejected

Council rejects Forest Green Rovers plan for Zaha Hadid designed new ground
6 days ago

Flannery Plant Hire spends £30m on Cat machines

Huge deal signed at Plantworx exhibition
5 days ago

£1bn Stratford East Bank scheme clears final planning

Cultural and education centre in Olympic Park ready to go
6 days ago

Ringway wins £420m road maintenance deal

Highways England East Region contract could last 15 years
6 days ago

Hammerson unveils new Birmingham city quarter plan

1,300 homes and 1.4m sq ft of workspace planned for Martineau Galleries site
6 days ago

Planning row sees roads blocked on Persimmon site

Council blocks construction traffic to housing site
6 days ago

Tolent lands £84.5m Durham Milburngate contract

Contractor bags one of its biggest ever deals with main construction work set to start shortly
6 days ago

Government commits to net zero carbon by 2050

Industry must quickly rise to the challenge of improving the existing building stock
6 days ago

Extra week to put forward your favourite construction firms

Construction Enquirer Awards deadline extended: Enter online now
1 week ago

Wates ramps up FM offering with new business

Wates FM will target public sector work and wider spectrum of private clients
7 days ago

Worker killed by remote-controlled crane

Lift goes fatally wrong on National Grid site
7 days ago

Contractor services