Construction Health and Safety Consultancy and CDM Adviser Services

Asbestos Removal Poses Serious Risks
Posted by David Cant on February 9, 2012

Despite all of the work being carried out to highlight the severity of asbestos and the importance of safety regarding the removal of the material, companies are still failing to follow the law. Asbestos is a killer; it is responsible for many serious diseases such as:

  • Asbestosis
  • Mesothelioma
  • Lung Cancer directly related to Asbestos
  • Non-malignant pleural disease

In 2009 alone there were 2321 recorded deaths due to mesothelioma and the substance contributes largely to work related deaths in the UK. Therefore the removal of the deadly material is taken very seriously and has to be carried out following the guidelines, regulations and laws which are enforced by the Health and Safety Executive.

Employees and Residence Put at Risk

During some work being carried on a home in Bradford-on-Avon the removal of asbestos was not correctly carried out. D B Construction Ltd had been carrying out the removal of asbestos insulation board in a ceiling. The job was not performed in a safe manner which resulted in the residents of the house, including small children, and the workers of being at risk of being exposed to the deadly fibres.

Electrician Raised Concerns

An electrician was the first to raise awareness of the possibility that the ceiling boards may contain asbestos. He decided to arrange for an inspection of the ceiling boards to see if they contained asbestos before he would begin work in the property.  The trained analyst arrived and confirmed it was asbestos and informed the contractors that would should not continue until the debris and fibres were carefully disposed of and cleared off site.

Inspectors Called to the Site

Once the HSE arrived they discovered that both white and brown asbestos was present. DB Construction had not investigated the building before commencing work and even as the ceiling was being ripped out and broken up no one identified that asbestos was present.  The fibres were released and the debris was placed in the garden in open bags, which in itself is a serious breach of the health and safety rules.

As a result of the unsafe removal and storage of the asbestos materials D B Construction was ordered to court. The company has been fined after admitting that they breached Regulation 5 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations. The fine amounted to £7,000 and an additional £3,617.50 in court costs.

Regulation 5 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations is relating to the removal of asbestos. It clearly states that work must not be carried out which exposes employees to asbestos. An assessment must be carried out before work begins which establishes whether asbestos is present and which type it is. In the case where these results are inconclusive it is vital that the material is removed as if it did contain the deadly substance.

Health and Safety Services Relating to Asbestos

It is possible to gain assistance when it comes to performing asbestos surveys. Health and Safety consultants provide vital services such as:

To learn more about the health and safety services call 0800 1488 677. Speak to the Veritas Consulting Health and Safety consultants and ensure the safety of your employees and the public by not exposing them to deadly fibres.


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

This post has been filed in: Asbestos Surveys, Health and Safety Services, Workplace Safety

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