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Companies Fined After Plumbers Exposed To Asbestos

HSE Inspectors Found Safety Failings At Two Companies


Two companies based in Barnstaple, Devon have been fined after a series of failings caused two plumbers to be exposed to asbestos.

North Devon Homes Ltd were found to have breached construction regulations, while Pilkington Plumbing and Heating Ltd breached control of asbestos regulations.

The plumbers, who were both employed by Pilkington Plumbing and Heating Ltd, were allowed to carry out the removal of a boiler and to drill a wall panel at a property owned by Devon Homes in Ilfracombe. However, HSE inspectors discovered the work was carried out before an asbestos survey was received.

North Devon Homes Ltd pleaded guilty to a breach of Construction (design management) Regulations and was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £650, while Pilkington Plumbing and Heating Ltd pleaded guilty to two breaches of Control of Asbestos Regulations and was fined £1,500 with £642 costs.

HSE Inspector Barry Trudgian, speaking after the hearing, said: “As a result of North Devon Homes’ failure to provide the required information and Pilkington not waiting for the asbestos details before starting work, two workers have been needlessly exposed to asbestos.”

Expert Opinion
A series of health and safety failings have resulted in two men being exposed to asbestos, a dangerous substance which can cause a range of diseases and conditions if inhaled.

“The risks associated with asbestos have been well-known and the regulations put in place by the HSE have been in place for some time, so the fact these two workers were needlessly exposed to asbestos is completely unacceptable.

“Hopefully, this successful HSE prosecution, which found the incident could have easily been avoided, will act as a reminder to the property construction and maintenance industry to make the health and safety employees and contractors a top priority.”
Virginia Chalmers, Partner

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