Council housing company fined for safety breach

A FIRM responsible for managing council houses in South Yorkshire has been fined £7,000 for breaching health and safety laws.

Rotherham 2010 - a company set up and owned by Rotherham Council - allowed a plumber to be exposed to 50 times the legal limit of asbestos while he was installing a shower room in Orchard Place, Wath-Upon-Dearne.

Rotherham Magistrates' Court heard the firm had carried out an asbestos survey on a property next door to the site eight weeks before the work was done, revealing there was asbestos in the bathroom. But bosses failed to pass the results of the survey to their subcontractor, Barnsley-based firm Nugas.

As a result its plumber was not wearing any protective clothing or respiratory equipment when he removed tiles from the bathroom wall, damaging a layer of asbestos insulating board.

Magistrates issued Rotherham 2010 with a 7,000 fine and ordered it to pay a further 3,418 in costs.

After the hearing, Health and Safety Executive inspector Dave Bradley said: "It is not enough for companies to have asbestos surveys carried out - they must take the necessary action. Telling the contractor they employ is an obvious first step."

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