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March 17, 2011

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Surveyor failed to spot vast area of asbestos material

A director of an asbestos surveying firm failed to identify 1252 square metres of asbestos insulation board (AIB) and lagging while carrying out an asbestos survey.

Leicester magistrates heard on 11 March that Shay James, a director of Redditch firm Amencon, which has since ceased trading, was commissioned by Bovis Homes in August 2008 to carry out a type-three (demolition or refurbishment) asbestos survey of a factory unit in Leicester that was to be turned into a new housing development.

Shay James had prepared a report of the asbestos survey on 7 August 2008. Photographs of the areas sampled were also submitted with the survey report, indicating that James and Amencon had walked around the entire factory area. Amencon had quoted for 100 asbestos samples, although the report revealed that only 60 samples had been taken, 25 of which contained chrysotile. Some of these samples were chrysotile asbestos cement, which is non-licensable, but a second set of sampling taken later on revealed large quantities of asbestos insulation board and pipe-lagging, which is licensable.

From these test results, photographs and site visit James, on behalf of Amencon, prepared his type-three asbestos report, which indentified no licensable asbestos material at the factory site. This report was submitted to Bovis Homes, which, in turn submitted it to the demolition contractor.€

Approaches to managing the risks associated Musculoskeletal disorders

In this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast, we hear from Matt Birtles, Principal Ergonomics Consultant at HSE’s Science and Research Centre, about the different approaches to managing the risks associated with Musculoskeletal disorders.

Matt, an ergonomics and human factors expert, shares his thoughts on why MSDs are important, the various prevalent rates across the UK, what you can do within your own organisation and the Risk Management process surrounding MSD’s.

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