Public Liability Insurers Warned of Asbestos’ Perils

Following the prosecution of an engineering firm for potentially exposing two workers to fibres of asbestos, the health authorities have warned public liability insurance holders about the risks associated with the material.

Based in Teesside but registered in Aberdeen, Darchem Engineering was fined £3,000 after it pleaded guilty to breaching regulations 10(1) and 4(3) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006.

Notably, the incident occurred in November 2008 when two maintenance workers were relocating a junction box at the firm's site in Stockton on Tees. This required drilling into an asbestos insulation board without taking precautions.

Subsequently, an investigation was marked to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The probe revealed that Darchem failed to adequately manage the risks, and as a result potentially exposed workers to asbestos fibres.

In another related incident, City of Lincoln Council and County Waste (Lincs) Ltd were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for allowing asbestos insulation boards to be incorrectly removed.

While City of Lincoln Council was fined £10,000, County Waste (Lincs) Ltd, of Exchange Road, Lincoln, was asked to shell out a penalty of £4,250, apart from costs of £12,000 and £6,000, respectively. The penalty followed as both of them pleaded guilty to a number of health and safety breaches.