Quainton Logistics & Storage Ltd has been fined after both putting workers at risk and allowing conditions on site to fall well below the expected standard in a court hearing on 22 March 2018.
Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 4 May 2016, operatives were smashing asbestos roof sheets with crow bars to remove them from a derelict warehouse in Bootle, Merseyside. In addition to the risk of asbestos exposure, workers were at risk of falling into open service pits as no edge protection or fall restraint equipment was in place. Workers were not provided with PPE and there were no toilet or washing provisions on site.
On site, operating a Mobile Elevated Work Platform (MEWP) and fork lift truck, were three operatives all of whom were foreign nationals and only one spoke English. In another area of the building, a MEWP was parked next to the open pits, only around 1 metre from the edge. The MEWPS and fork lift truck were in very poor condition, covered in broken asbestos cement sheets.
An investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive found that Quainton Logistics & Storage Ltd failed to put measures in place to manage the work or to ensure the health and safety of operatives. The company also failed to implement safe systems of work or correct procedures for removing asbestos material.
Quainton Logistics and Storage Limited, of Turnall Road, Widnes, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulations 15(2) and 28(6) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company was fined £14,000 and ordered to pay costs of £ 6,870.44.
HSE inspector Jacqueline Western said after the hearing: “Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”