Building and maintenance workers and employers must take proper precautions when working in buildings where asbestos may be present, the Health & Safety Executive has stressed.
The warning follows the prosecution in August of Blackpool firm Asahi Glass Fluoropolymers, which was fined 3,000 and ordered to pay 1,396 costs after breaching health and safety at work regulations.
In June 2002, ceiling tiles containing asbestos were removed during refurbishment work contracted out by the company at its Lancashire factory. Seven workers were exposed to asbestos.
Company managers suspected that the ceiling tiles might contain asbestos but allowed work to continue. The contractor did not have an asbestos licence required to remove the tiles and employees involved in the work were not trained in asbestos work.