A school in Chelmsford has been fined after refurbishment and maintenance on site exposed school staff and other people to asbestos. An old boiler room was due to be converted into a cleaning store but asbestos residue found on the walls was disturbed and caretakers later swept contaminated debris off the floor.
Chelmsford Crown Court heard that the workers' risk to exposure was only revealed after an asbestos survey was carried out, after the fact the ‘Health and Safety Executive’ (HSE) discovered that asbestos-containing materials were also later found in other areas and contractors and school staff had disturbed the fabric of the buildings over numerous years without being made aware of the situation.
HSE Inspector Glyn Davies, said that the school should have controlled the risk by identifying the condition, location and type of asbestos-containing materials on site and should have introduced necessary precautions to prevent it from being disturbed.
"It should then have ensured that such information was shared with anyone liable to disturb this fabric. It may also have arranged for a licensed asbestos contractor to remove any dangerous asbestos safely before commencement of any work," he continued.
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