Asbestos protective clothing safety failings has resulted in a fine for the site supervisor of a specialist asbestos contractor, after he ignored the company’s procedures on working with asbestos and broke the law.
Speaking after the hearing, the inspector from Britain’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said:
“Asbestos is responsible for thousands of deaths in the UK every year but it only becomes dangerous when it is broken up and fibres are released into the air. That’s why asbestos can only be removed by specialist contractors but, the site supervisor put workers at risk by not following the correct safety procedures. He simply should never have allowed three men to go into a contaminated area while wearing their own clothes, and without the correct protective clothing and respiratory masks. Workers, their families and anyone else who came into contact with them would have been put at risk as a result of his decision to allow the men to wear lace-up boots and the clothes they intended to go home in. Thankfully, we were able to stop the work and make sure the clothes were disposed of as contaminated waste.”
Section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states: “It shall be the duty of every employee while at work to take reasonable care for the health and safety of himself and of other persons who may be affected by his acts or omissions at work.”
Here is the HSE press release on the matter.