VT Flagship and PPSL District Energy fined after removal of asbestos

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The Southampton Daily Echo reported late yesterday online of the fines handed down to the above companies who were tasked with the removal of asbestos from HMS Sultan.

The hearing at Portsmouth Magistrates Court heard how in September 2009 pipes lined with asbestos were left on the road side before being placed into an open recycling skip before being transferred to a salvage firm in Hilsea. On October 20, 2009 the salvage company realised that there was asbestos product in the skip and notified the Health and Safety Executive.

The investigation found that the two above companies had failed to identify the asbestos before removing it. VT Flagship Ltd was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £5,196 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006.

PPSL District Energy Limited was fined £18,000 and costs of £4,291 in costs after also pleading guilty.

The HSE inspector dealing with the case said after the hearing:

Before anyone undertakes any demolition or refurbishment works they must take appropriate steps to ensure they have reliable information regarding the materials they are dealing with, an essential requirement that is specifically in place to identify the presence of asbestos. VT Flagship and PPSL District Energy both failed in this regard. They wrongly assumed there was no asbestos without carrying out proper checks to back that up with hard evidence. As a result a number of workers for several different companies, as well as passing Navy personnel, were put at unnecessary risk. Thousands of people die every year as a result of asbestos-related disease, and duty holders cannot afford to take any chances or make assumptions.


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