The United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on Sept. 16 announced that an English crown court fined a dairy and a welding company for exposing employees to asbestos.
The HSE said the Plymouth Crown Court fined Dairy Crest Ltd. and Rochdale Electric Welding Co. Ltd. (REWCO) for exposing employees to asbestos at an industrial site.
In May 2010, the HSE said asbestos dust was released during work to remove industrial boilers, pipework and a boiler house at an industrial site owned by Dairy Crest. The asbestos-containing material remained exposed until a cleanup operation began at the site two years later.
Dairy Crest and REWCO were prosecuted after the HSE noticed asbestos violations in the planning of the job and a lack of training for the workers. REWCO was hired to dismantle all of the fixed plant pipework and to assist in demolishing the boiler house. The HSE said REWCO removed the boilers at the site without taking steps to determine whether asbestos was present.
The HSE said Dairy Crest had previously completed a suitable survey for asbestos but failed to provide REWCO with the report. The HSE said three REWCO employees were exposed to asbestos during the boiler and pipework removal. An HSE investigation revealed widespread asbestos contamination.
The HSE said Dairy Crest pleaded guilty to one breach of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006. The Crown Court ordered Dairy Crest to pay 12,000 pounds in fines and 22,214 in costs. REWCO pleaded guilty to breaching two counts of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006. The Crown Court ordered REWCO to pay 8,000 pounds in costs and 13,786 pounds in costs.