It was reported on the HSE website that GKN Aerospace Services Ltd and Lybrook Constructors Ltd, trading as DL Group, have been prosecuted after construction workers were exposed to asbestos at GKN’s premises in Yeovil.

DL Group was engaged by GKN Aerospace Services Ltd on 17 June 2010 to remove ceiling tiles within its treatment facilities room, which led to contractors being put at risk of exposure to asbestos.

In a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Yeovil Magistrates’ Court heard on 28th June that GKN had done a basic survey prior to refurbishment work being carried out but ignored it.
HSE found that GKN placed an order for the works with DL Group, although they did not have the skills to carry out adequate assessments or hold a suitable license to work with or remove asbestos.

The court was told the company allowed its employees to begin the removal work without the necessary demolition and refurbishment survey being commissioned, compromising their safety and putting them at risk of being exposed to asbestos.

GKN Aerospace Services Ltd of Ferry Road, East Cowes, Isle of Wight, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay £5,885 in costs. Lybrook Constructors Ltd, t/a DL Group, of Malmesbury Road, Chippenham, admitted to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £3,400 and ordered to pay £5,885 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Annette Walker said:
“Neither party made sufficient efforts to identify the asbestos liabilities associated with the work prior to work commencing. GKN’s records identified the presence of asbestos insulating boards in the ceiling tiles of that room. However, they relied upon the observations of contractors without the necessary competencies required, to make the decision that asbestos was not present nor did they convey their information to the contractors.

“Lybrook Constructors were active in making the decision that the ceiling tiles did not contain asbestos. In fact, a number of ceiling tiles were clearly marked with asbestos stickers and these were ignored.
“As a result, a number of individuals were unnecessarily exposed to the risks associated with airborne asbestos fibres through failure to adequately assess and manage the works. Exposure to asbestos can have fatal or serious long term health consequences and, as such, every precaution must be taken to minimise any risks when working on buildings.”

It is amazing in this day and age that despite the known widespread dangers of asbestos workers are still being exposed.

If you have been exposed to asbestos or have been diagnosed with an asbestos related condition please contact us immediately on 0800 294 3065.