Tower block evacuated after electricians drill through asbestos

Grant Prior 3 years ago
Share

A contractor has been fined for exposing its employees to asbestos during work at Anderson Tower in Motherwell.

Hamilton Sheriff Court heard that four electricians employed by IQA Operations Group Ltd had been drilling through door transom panels to fit electric cables into each property within the block during installation of a new low voltage distribution system.

The company had identified that an asbestos survey was carried out ahead of the works starting but did not include a survey of the transom panels above each flat entrance door.

The electricians started work on the site and drilled holes in the door transom panels in all 44 flats.

The workers were not aware that the panels contained asbestos so no measures were in place to control exposure to airborne asbestos fibres.

A resident raised a concern that the panels were asbestos, work was stopped and the panels tested.

When the samples tested positive for asbestos immediate action was taken to decontaminate the flats which involved the local council making arrangements for the residents to leave their properties while the work was being done.

An HSE investigation found that IQA had failed to provide and maintain a safe system of work to identify the presence of asbestos in the transom panels and failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment of risk to their employees from asbestos when carrying out cable routing work.

IQA Operations Group Ltd of Paisley was fined £6,000 after pleading guilty to safety breaches.

Speaking after the hearing, Gerry Muir HM Inspector of Health and Safety said “This incident could have easily been avoided if the company had in place a system of work to ensure that the asbestos survey it requested to be carried out covered all of the intended work areas.

“Failing to do this resulted in 44 asbestos panels being drilled into with no measures in place to control the risk of exposure to the resultant asbestos fibres.”

Latest news

Contractor jailed for filling old quarry with hazardous waste

M E Foley (Contractors) boss jailed for over two years
2 days ago

Bids invited for £540m JV North contractors framework

Race start for places on northern housing association consortium new-build framework
2 days ago

Contractor moves to four-day-week to boost work/life balance

Building and renovation specialist Orocco to give all site and office staff Fridays off
2 days ago

Scaffolding collapses on top floor of apartment site

Roads sealed off around resi job after scaffolding damaged during high winds
2 days ago

£250m South East Consortium housing framework winners

Vistry and Wates gain places on major projects lot for first time
2 days ago

Construction buyers report strong “spring surge” in output

Industry output expands at sharpest pace since September 2014
2 days ago

Three consortia shortlisted for Britain’s longest road tunnel

Murphy joins international line-up of firms shortlisted for £2.3bn Lower Thames Crossing
4 days ago

Arup staff have bank details hacked by cyber criminals

Ransomware attack sees staff data compromised at consultant
3 days ago

Skanska to switch all site equipment to vegetable oil power

Contractor wants to go all electric or hydrogen powered when technology allows
3 days ago

Lead time warnings on cement and aggies deliveries

Heavyside products and plastic drainage products join supply bottleneck list
3 days ago

Taylor Woodrow secures £328m Somerset A358 upgrade

Vital 9-mile section of A358 will be dualled to the M5
3 days ago

11 win £350m southern house building deal

Housing association Abri names new construction partners
3 days ago

Leeds Bradford Airport £150m plan put on hold

Choice to hold a public inquiry delayed by communities secretary
3 days ago

St Modwen teams up with Oxford college for resi and logistics scheme

Worcester scheme for 1,250 homes and 900,000 sq ft of warehouses
3 days ago

Renewal race for £1.8bn north west framework

Procure Partnerships calls up contractors for second-generation deal
4 days ago

Safety inductions to go 4D on Balfour/Vinci HS2 sites

Online training tool based on specific sites set to boost safety awareness
4 days ago

Contractors called up for £650m housing framework

CEF framework will be used by eight housing associations in the north
4 days ago

Piling starts on £100m Edmonton recycling centre

Taylor Woodrow assembles piling experts from sister VINCI companies
4 days ago

Select Plant electric crane ready to start on site

Liebherr crawler takes 4.5hours to charge
4 days ago

Tarmac/Kier to upgrade London highways in Barnet

£25m highways maintenance contract will run for two and a half years
4 days ago

Hill to build 200 homes for £500m Oxford scheme

Homes to be built in first phase of Oxford North life sciences district
4 days ago

Controversial IR35 changes come into force

Freelance contractors hit at 'worst possible time' by tax shake-up
5 days ago

B&K bags £10m Keele Uni innovation centre

Work to start on seventh innovation centre within in University Enterprise Zone
4 days ago

Galliard and O’Shea set up retirement home partnership

O'Shea will build first £40m retirement village near Henley-on-Thames
5 days ago

Balfour takes first works deal on HS2 phase 2a to Crewe

Under £52m contract, Balfour will create new woods and wetlands
5 days ago

SSE Contracting sold to private equity firm Aurelius

Deal will see 1,900 M&E staff get new owners
1 week ago

Developer Dominvs appoints new Construction Director

Former Multiplex project leader John Ko joins from Goldman Sachs
5 days ago

Plans in for over 700 homes near Birmingham HS2 station

Plan for five blocks of flats up to 15 storeys high at New Bond Street in Digbeth
5 days ago

Race starts for £1.9bn Lower Thames Crossing roads

Roads North of Thames will be worth more than double the Kent Roads contract
1 week ago

Skanska bags £135m revamp of Canary Wharf’s first office

30 South Colonnade to get a major overhaul and extra three floors
1 week ago

Contractor services