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Fines after workers exposed to asbestos

An Ammanford-based knitwear company and a cladding firm site foreman have been fined for putting workers and visitors at risk of exposure to asbestos.

Corgi Hosiery Ltd. contracted Dragon Cladding Ltd. to remove an asbestos cement sheet roof at their New Road branch in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire

Having received a complaint about the work, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) visited the site on the 22nd October 2008, and found roofers had removed the asbestos sheets from the roof, but they had also removed plaster-like material from the underside of the sheets and structural steelwork.

HSE inspectors stopped the work immediately and tests confirmed the plaster-like material contained asbestos.

On further investigation it was found that Dragon Cladding Ltd.'s site foreman Stuart Phillips, 27, had instructed two workers to use a hammer and chisel to remove the plaster-like material from the building steelwork.

Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard no effort was made to establish what this material was prior to work commencing, and the debris was swept into domestic black bin bags and placed in open skips.

Mr Phillips, of Llangadog in Carmarthenshire, was found to have failed to adequately assess the risks, plan the work and implement a safe system of work. He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing and was fined a total of £4,000 for breaching Regulations 11 (1) (a) and 16 of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2006 (£2,000 per regulation), by virtue of Section 37 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. He was also ordered to pay £1,000 costs.

Corgi Hosiery Ltd., of Ammanford in Carmarthenshire, was found guilty of failing to prevent exposure of its employees to asbestos at an earlier hearing and was fined £25,000 for breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2006, with £15,000 costs.


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