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Staffs County Council fined for nursery asbestos exposure

Staffordshire County Council and a refurbishment contractor have been fined for exposing a nursery school and two workers to asbestos fibres. school sign

Rugeley firm G Evans (Services) Ltd was refurbishing Glenthorne Community Primary School in Cheslyn Hay for the council when the incident happened on Friday 13 February 2009.

Stafford Crown Court heard that two joiners were cutting through a large built-in cupboard in the nursery class when they noticed unidentified material nailed to the back of it.

They showed this to their site manager, who allowed them to carry on dismantling the cupboard and to detach the material. However, the material was asbestos insulating board, which by law should only be moved by a licensed asbestos removal contractor. The court heard how the joiners used an ordinary vacuum cleaner to clear up dust and debris, which would also have spread asbestos fibres in the air.

On the Friday the work was undertaken, seventeen children aged between three and four, were in the classroom for half-day sessions together with a teacher and a teaching assistant. A school cleaner, who was working in the classroom later in the day, was also exposed to the potentially dangerous substance.

The following Monday, an analyst who was monitoring asbestos levels in the air during licensed asbestos removal work, spotted pieces of asbestos insulating board in an open skip. The school was closed immediately for investigation and subsequent decontamination.

A Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the incident found Staffordshire County Council had failed to carry out a pre-refurbishment asbestos survey in the nursery before work started. These surveys were essential to ensure that anyone who was likely to work or disturb asbestos was provided with information on the location and condition of the asbestos.

G Evans (Services) Ltd had not taken sufficient steps to identify the asbestos insulating board attached to the cupboard before work started and its procedures for identifying asbestos containing materials were inadequate which permitted their site manager to assume the material was safe to work with and to continue disturbing it. The court heard the work should have been stopped until the material had been investigated further.

HSE inspector David Brassington said after the hearing: “A series of assumptions and missed opportunities led to contractors, school staff and nursery age children being exposed to asbestos fibres during refurbishment work.

“The joiners who were working directly with the asbestos were significantly exposed to the disturbed fibres– something that should not have happened with proper planning and access to an asbestos survey before work commenced.

“Fortunately, the risk to children and school staff who were in the classroom the same day as the asbestos was disturbed will have been lower because they spent less time in the nursery at the time when the asbestos was initially disturbed.

“This incident has understandably caused a great deal of anxiety. As soon as the suspect material was found the work should have been stopped for further investigation.

“The long term health risks associated with exposure to asbestos dust are well known and it is unacceptable for incidents such as this to be taking place.”

Staffordshire County Council, of Tipping Street, Stafford, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was today (14 December) fined £10,000and ordered to pay £5,000 costs.

December 26, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Asbestos Removal |
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Is asbestos not a problem of the past?

There are still serious cases of asbestos contamination that are found in public buildings today.

Just under a month ago pupils had to be moved out of a school in Wales after browns asbestos fibres were discovered in air within the school during a structural survey.

As a result the school was closed down permanently. All other schools in Wales were also ordered to undergo air testing on a routine basis.

This would indicate that asbestos is not just a problem of the industrial past and continuing awareness of its dangers still remains necessary.

November 10, 2012 at 9:00 am | Asbestos Infomation |
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Glasgow asbestos removal needed after school fire

Residents who live in the streets surrounding a Glasgow primary school which set on fire in May are to have their gutters cleaned following an asbestos scare.

Glasgow City Council undertook the asbestos removal work to clean gutters around St Mark’s Primary School after fibres were found in several roofs in the area during checks.

Residents were warned not to use their gardens until the land had been uncontaminated.

October 10, 2012 at 11:26 am | Asbestos Removal |
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Essex asbestos removal needed in family home

Concerns have been raised regarding the health of a family after asbestos was discovered in their home in Maldon, Essex.

Donna Guess, who lives in the home with her partner and two young children, claims Moat housing association did not warn her that her house contained asbestos when she moved in back in August 2010.

A Moat spokesman said a fire affecting the garage of Mrs Guess’ home in October 2011, highlighted the need for asbestos removal Essex.

The spokesman said: “We worked with Mrs Guess to decide on the most convenient plan of action for her and her family in order to complete these works.”

May 25, 2012 at 2:34 am | Asbestos Removal |
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Dublin’s Abbey Theatre closing for asbestos removal

Dublin’s Abbey Theatre is set to close for nine weeks during the summer after asbestos was discovered in the main auditorium.

The theatre said the potentially dangerous material was found during a routine inspection in January, though it posed no health risks to staff or members of the public.

The theatre has chosen to close from July 17 to September 15 whilst removal takes place.

May 16, 2012 at 4:11 am | Asbestos Removal |
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Asbestos Removal in Kent

Our asbestos expert here is Daniel Daintry he features in the attached video discussing asbestos removal in Kent which is a particularly busy location when it comes to the provision of our asbestos services, domestic or commercial.

If you need asbestos removal in Kent or indeed any other area of the UK then give Daniel or another member of our asbestos team a call today: 0844 288 7264.

May 9, 2012 at 2:55 am | Asbestos Videos |
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Environment Agency confirms abestos removal in Cornwall is required

The Environment Agency has reportedly said that asbestos removal in Cornwall is now neccessary due to the asbestos waste which has recently been found after a large digout from a disused Cornwall mineshaft.

The harmful waste was said to have been excavated during an operation to recover the body of a horse which had fallen into the shaft.

Nearby residents had began to become concerned about the possible danger to their health, however, the Environment Agency confirmed it was a “relatively small amount” which would be removed soon. A further statement from The E.A. said: “The surface waste will be removed and the area reinstated dependent on the weather. If planning permission is granted then all waste will have to be removed.”

May 8, 2012 at 1:37 am | Asbestos Removal |
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Asbestos Removal in Bradford

Dan Daintry is our Asbestos and Artex expert at PAL Hire here he talks about our nationwide and local service which we provide in the Bradford area.

For asbestos removal or disposal no matter what area of the country you are in and no matter whether it is required for domestic or commercial needs simply give Dan a call or one of our friendly and helpful asbestos team on 0844 288 7264.

May 1, 2012 at 3:18 am | Asbestos Videos |
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Artex Removal

PAL Hire’s Asbestos expert Dan Daintry explains Artex Removal; a local and Nationwide service.

For domestic or commercial Artex and Asbestos removal or disposal orders and enquiries, simply call Dan or one of our asbestos team on: 0844 288 7264.

April 30, 2012 at 3:46 am | Asbestos Videos |
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Asbestos removal in Grimsby required following asbestos bag found dumped

Residents in Grimsby have revealed their shock after a bag believed to contain harmful asbestos was found dumped outside their homes.

The large red bag – which carried a warning that it contained asbestos – was left inside an abandoned shopping trolley on the pavement close to Duncombe Street car park.

Asbestos removal has since been carried out, though there is no clue as to who disposed of the bag.

A resident described seeing the trolley containing the red bag being dumped sometime between 5pm and 6pm on a Tuesday.

He said: “It was a small white Ford van which had a big black phone number across the left hand side of it. The driver got out and pulled the trolley out from the back, and it tipped over. Then he just drove off. Later that night I saw it being loaded onto the back of a council van. I didn’t report it, but if I had known it was asbestos I would have done. It’s disgusting really, isn’t it? There are a lot of kids around here.”

April 23, 2012 at 3:25 am | Asbestos Removal |
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