On 31 August 2018 Kent County Council were fined £200,000 after asbestos was disturbed at Lansdowne Primary School.
On 6 November 2014, Canterbury Crown Court heard how an environmental health officer was carrying out a routine food inspection when they noticed what looked like asbestos rope hanging from the ceiling.
A prohibition notice was served on the now independent educational trust. An investigation found that the asbestos flue and rope were disturbed when it was under the control of the Country Council 18 months beforehand.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the flue and gasket rope were attached to a steriliser unit that was removed by the caretaker. It was also found that neither the caretaker nor the headteacher had any asbestos management or awareness training. The council failed to effectively prevent exposure and failed to provide suitable training to those liable to be exposed to asbestos.
The council pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 10 (1) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £21,500.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector, Kevin Golding said “The Council had implemented a system, but they had failed to take the simple step of checking to ensure it was being rigorously adhered to, resulting in employees not receiving the appropriate training. Organisations should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”
In order to prevent similar cases occurring in the future, risk assessments should be carried out and acted upon promptly at all working environments. Health and safety advice should be sought if needed to ensure that the necessary measures are put in place as well as ensuring that employees have received sufficient relevant training.
Come along to our Health and Safety in a Nutshell training on Tuesday 9th October 2018 in East Ardsley and understand your main requirements for health and safety. To find out more information, please follow this link. Health and Safety clients received one free place on this course.
If you have any queries regarding our training workshop, health and safety in your workplace or relating to any other areas of HR then please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of the team on 01924 827869.