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Case of unsafe asbestos removal emphasises the importance of using safe contractors

Case of unsafe asbestos removal emphasises the importance of using safe contractors

11 April 2016

A gas engineer has been prosecuted for removing potentially dangerous asbestos removal during a gas boiler replacement, putting himself and others at risk from exposure to asbestos fibres.

The engineer in question was removing an old heating system when he disturbed a quantity of asbestos insulation board that surrounded the boiler. During the hearing the court heard that the engineer had used no safety measures to prevent the spread of asbestos and that he failed to use protective clothing or breathing apparatus.

HSE inspector, Simon Jones, commented that the engineer’s negligence “could result in serious health effects to both him and anyone else who came into contact with the asbestos material that he disturbed.”

This case highlights the risks that customers face when they have plumbing and heating work carried out in their homes or places of work. Contractors have a duty to consider the risks and to take appropriate precautions to ensure the safety and welfare of those who could be affected.

Whilst commercial customers have a duty to assess the suitability of contractors before appointing them, homeowners quite rightly put their trust in contractors to carry out their work in a safe and competent manner.

The chance of asbestos containing materials being disturbed during maintenance is just one of the potential risks that homeowners face. Your Plumber services are carried out by well-trained staff who follow a comprehensive health and safety policy with detailed procedures to ensure that all risks are suitably considered before we being work.

Our commitment to health and safety includes the provision of regular training for our staff, which includes asbestos awareness training, so that they are trained to identify situations when asbestos may be present and to take appropriate actions to ensure their work does not present a risk to themselves or others.

Further information

For more information about the responsibilities of commercial customers when appointing contractors, read our blog ‘Appointing contractors - legal duties for businesses’.

To read about the prosecution of the gas engineer in this post, visit the HSE website.