Asbestos expert fined after workers exposed to potentially-deadly fibres at Trafford College (From Messenger Newspapers)
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Asbestos expert fined after workers exposed to potentially-deadly fibres at Trafford College
AN asbestos expert was fined after workers under his supervision were exposed to potentially-deadly fibres at North Trafford College.
Steven Kelly, a supervisor for Manchester-based asbestos removal firm, Winsulate, was fined £790 and ordered to pay costs of £250 at Trafford Magistrates’ Court on October 11.
He had pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to take reasonable care of workers under his supervision.
Mr Kelly, 41, from Kirkby in Merseyside, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after three men were spotted without suitable protective clothing in an area of the college, on Talbot Road, Stretford where asbestos was being removed.
The court was told that HSE inspectors carried out an unannounced visit to the college on December 12 2012 and found that Mr Kelly had sent workers into an undercroft beneath the classrooms – which had been sealed off from the rest of the building – to fix the temporary lighting.
They were wearing their own clothes instead of disposable clothing under their overalls, and half masks instead of full-face respiratory masks.
The men were also wearing lace-ups hoes instead of wellington boots, meaning asbestos fibres could stick to their laces or get inside their boots.
A HSE spokesman said several other issues were discovered on the site – such as insufficient water for workers to properly sponge down boots and masks and used clothing discarded inside the enclosure – despite Mr Kelly being a fully-trained and qualified supervisor in licensed asbestos removal.
HSE inspector, Laura Moran, said: “Steven Kelly put workers at risk by not following the correct safety procedures.
“He simply should never have allowed three men to go into a contaminated area while wearing their own clothes, and without the correct protective clothing and respiratory masks.
“Workers, their families and anyone else who came into contact with them would have been put at risk as a result of Mr Kelly allowing the men to wear lace-up boots and the clothes they intended to go home in.”