Asbestos Failure – Architect Firm Fined
An architect has been fined after the Health and Safety Executive said it put workers’ lives at risk because it didn’t tell them about asbestos in a building it was working on.
Dilwyn Roberts Penseiri/Architects was designing a new clubhouse for Aberystwyth Rugby Club in Wales and had been told an asbestos survey commissioned by the club had found asbestos insulation boards.
The HSE said this was never shown to the builders carrying out the work. It added the practice, which is based in Newtown, Powys, had said asbestos cement had been found in the soffits but did not mention the asbestos boards. The architect was appointed to design and oversee the scheme as well as act its construction, design and management co-ordinator.
Under safety regulations, asbestos insulation boards can only be removed by licenced companies under strictly controlled conditions.
In January last year, unaware builders then went and removed the boards from the soffits in the end wall – but had not recognised the material as asbestos boards which HSE inspector Phil Nicolle said had meant a worker was exposed to asbestos fibres. He added: “Breathing asbestos dust can cause serious damage to the lungs and cause cancer.”
Dilwyn Roberts Penseiri/Architects pleaded guilty to a safety breach and was fined £5,400 and ordered to pay £2,917 in costs.
Avoid breaking the law and putting lives at risk by arranging the safe management of asbestos.