The recent article by the IFSEC Global the International Fire and Security industries forum has highlighted the Risk of installers of Fire and security systems to Asbestos.
The article relates how installers had been informed that a building was free from asbestos, but it wasn’t true.
Click to access the full article: Asbestos Risk Facing Installers
While installing the equipment, they drilled in to an asbestos insulation panel. Unaware of any problem, they then vacuumed up the debris. The two sub-contractors then moved on through the building installing detectors and cleaning up after themselves with the same ordinary vacuum cleaner. Unfortunately this had the effect of spreading asbestos fibres around the premises.
The mistake was realised the next day and the safety advisers urged it to take emergency action by cordoning off the damaged area, bringing in specialists to clean, and conducting air testing to check that the levels of asbestos fibre had been brought within legal limits.
However, there was a delay of at least nine days before such action was taken. When it was, it is reported that a “substantial amount” of the material was collected.
The HSE found that the delay would have led to 180 workers and 16 visitors being potentially exposed. The HSE brought a case against the company who n court pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £12,638 in costs.
Guidance on Asbestos is available on the BuildHealth Website buildhealthni.com/resources/asbestos/