A food company and their contractor have been fined after asbestos was disturbed during building work and only identified by chance when an asbestos removal contractor attended site.
Stafford Crown Court heard no asbestos survey had been carried out by Mizkan Euro Ltd or D H Welton & Co Ltd and either company could have commissioned a refurbishment/demolition before the work commenced.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found Mizkan Euro Ltd were undertaking a project to remove tanks from a factory which required the demolition of an external wall. They failed to provide an asbestos survey to enable their contractor DH Welton to quote and plan appropriately for the work to be undertaken. However, it also found DH Welton could have commissioned a survey when they discovered that Mizkan only had access to a management survey for the building.
When the wall was demolished asbestos insulation board at the top of the wall was unknowingly broken up. A skip of demolition debris was found to contain asbestos insulation board, which had been identified by an asbestos contractor who had been called to site. For the work to be undertaken correctly, a licensed asbestos removal contractor should have been appointed to remove the asbestos under controlled conditions prior to the wall being demolished.