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February 23, 2020

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In court

Company and director fined after failing to manage Asbestos safely

Ace Recycling Limited and its sole director have been fined a total of £28,000 for health and safety breaches, including failing to ensure a suitable and sufficient assessment was completed to identify the presence of asbestos at a former factory site at Shaerf Drive, Lurgan.

James McCoubrey, director of Ace Recycling (NI) Limited, was also fined for failing to comply with a prohibition notice. The prohibition notice was served by an HSENI Inspector to prevent any further work involving asbestos from continuing at the site.

Demolition work at the former factory site commenced during December 2016 and continued through to February 2017. An independent contractor, not a licenced asbestos removal company, was tasked by James McCoubrey to remove asbestos containing materials from the site, the extent of which were unknown.  Suitable precautions were not taken by the contractor during the demolition process to ensure the safe removal of asbestos.

Following receipt of a complaint regarding the alleged removal of asbestos, a HSENI Inspector visited the site at Shearf Drive on 8 February 2017. The Inspector served a prohibition notice preventing any further asbestos removal work from continuing. A subsequent visit by the same Inspector identified that the prohibition notice had not been complied with and further unnecessary asbestos contamination of the site had taken place.

HSENI Inspector Kyle Carrick said: “This case highlights the importance of surveying a property for asbestos to minimise the risk of exposure to asbestos fibres from subsequent work activities.”

“The risk of exposure to asbestos could easily have been avoided if a suitable and sufficient assessment to identify the presence of asbestos had taken place before commencing demolition. In addition failure to comply with the prohibition notice in this case has resulted in workers being unnecessarily exposed to asbestos.”

Breaches and fines

ACE Recycling

  • Article 6 of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978: fine £9,000;
  • Regulation 4(3) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012: fine £9,000.

James McCoubrey Limited

  • Article 6 of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978: fine £4,000;
  • Regulation 4(3) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012: fine £4,000;
  • Article 31(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978: fine £2,000.

Watch: Top 5 most-read in fines and prosecutions in January 2020

This news story is in partnership with Barbour EHS, a specialist information service provider supporting professionals across sectors including fire and security, FM, health and safety, sustainability and energy.

Sleep and Fatigue: Director’s Briefing

Fatigue is common amongst the population, but particularly among those working abnormal hours, and can arise from excessive working time or poorly designed shift patterns. It is also related to workload, in that workers are more easily fatigued if their work is machine-paced, complex or monotonous.

This free director’s briefing contains:

  • Key points;
  • Recommendations for employers;
  • Case law;
  • Legal duties.
Barbour EHS

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