Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 5°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Bury: Window replacement firm to pay out £35,000 after exposing workers to asbestos

09:09 15 February 2014

A teenager is due in court charged with robbery and carrying an offensive weapon

A teenager is due in court charged with robbery and carrying an offensive weapon

Archant

A window replacement company from Bury St Edmunds will have to pay out nearly £35,000 after it exposed workers to potentially fatal asbestos.

shares

Workers at Frames Conservatories Direct Ltd (FCDL) were replacing window units at Westley Middle School over the summer of 2012. The company told the school that asbestos panels would be removed by registered contractors and disposed of in the correct way.

However Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court was told the company was not licensed to work with asbestos and employees undertaking the work weren’t told they would be handling the substance. No control measures were used to prevent the spread of fibres.

The health and safety breach also meant the school had to pay over £110,000 in cleaning and replacing contaminated items.

The matter was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after being alerted by the school’s headteacher as well as employees at FCDL.

Concerns were first raised when other contractors noticed suspect material in a floor void and consulted a licensed asbestos contractor who then visited the school. The contractor saw window panels being removed and notified FCDL employees that they were handling materials likely to contain asbestos. The work was immediately stopped and the area sealed off.

A licensed contractor undertook a programme of cleaning under strictly controlled conditions in all affected areas of the school. Once completed, air tests were carried out and the areas certified safe for re-occupation.

£111,495 was spent by the school environmental cleaning and replacement of teaching aids and other items that had to be destroyed because of contamination.

The company, of Barton Retail Park, Barton Road, Bury St Edmunds, was fined a total of £24,000 and ordered to pay £10,571 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching regulations 8(1) and 11(1) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Elizabeth Fowle said: “This incident has been extremely stressful for those affected and has also been disruptive and costly for the school. All of this could have been avoided if the company had simply asked, ‘Should we be doing this work with asbestos?’

“Frames Conservatories Direct Ltd knew the window panels they planned to remove contained asbestos but wrongly decided they would work with the material. They did not tell their employees about the presence of asbestos or specify any safety measures.

“As a result, they exposed workers to asbestos levels many times in excess of the Control Limit. The long term health risks associated with inhalation of asbestos fibres include lung cancer and mesothelioma.

“It was extremely fortunate that this work took place during the school holiday which meant that there were no pupils on site and few school staff.”

shares

1 comment

  • by 2012 all asbestos should have been removed from schools .education are partly to blame.

    Report this comment

    TERENCE MANNING

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

Doug Field - Executive Officer - Finance and Technology, East of England Co-op

An East Anglian store chain is celebrating a 3% rise in profits, but warned store closures could be on the cards this year as it continues to battle tough trading conditions.

The EEAST emergency operations centre

Health minister Dan Poulter has praised the leadership and investment at the East of England Ambulance Service Trust service after it recorded some of its best figures in Suffolk for months.

left to right): Andrew Harrison, Managing Director Stansted Airport; Charlie Cornish, MAG Chief Executive; Beth Brewster, MAG Retail Director

Phase two of an £80million project to transform restaurants on offer at Stansted Airport was officially opened yesterday, amid hopes the improved offer will attract long-haul airlines to the transport hub.

A small plane kept the Virgin balloon company for part of the trip

Geometrical farmers’ fields, tree canopies and a selfie were all caught on camera when photographer Sarah Lucy Brown flew over the county in a hot air balloon.

Jonathan Glenister, who has been reported missing

Police are searching for a 20-year-old man from Haverhill who has not been seen since Saturday evening.

HMS Rhododendron at anchor in Russia

Talk of VE Day evokes different memories for different people. For Arthur Simmons, it came as he sailed back from Russia.

IPSWICH TOWN FOOTBALL CLUB

Fans of the animated Disney film Frozen will have the opportunity to experience every song and snow flake with an Open Air Cinema Day at Ipswich Town Football Club this summer.

Debenham village parish sign.

The leader of a Suffolk village authority has questioned the electoral process after a representative could not stand for re-election due to citizenship issues.

Delays have been caused by a signal fault

Rail services between Norwich and Diss are having to run at a reduced speed on some lines due to a fault with the signalling system.

The future of RAF Lakenheath will be central to election battle in West Suffolk on May 7

Forest Heath District Council covers a large rural area, stretching from the Cambridgeshire border and Newmarket in the south to the town of Brandon on the Norfolk border.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages