A Wokingham business has been fined for safety failings after two subcontractors were unwittingly exposed to asbestos fibres at Reading University.
Gardner Mechanical Services Ltd had been contracted to undertake a mechanical services upgrade **in a room at the university. They subcontracted the project to a Newbury-based company, who in turn subcontracted two self-employed men, Andrew Lloyd and Steve Taylor, to do the work.
Reading Magistrates court heard the two men drilled through a sprayed asbestos ceiling coating. They had not been made aware that asbestos was in the room and thought all asbestos material had been removed by specialist contractors prior to their work starting.
Gardner Mechanical Services Ltd, of Grovelands Avenue Workshops, Winnersh, Wokingham, pleaded guilty and was fined a total of £28,000 and ordered to pay £22,631 in costs.
After the hearing HSE inspector Adam Wycherley said: “Gardner Mechanical Services had a clear duty of care to relay important information to its subcontractors in order to prevent their exposure to asbestos, but this simply did not happen.
“As a result of poor planning on the part of GMS, two men were exposed to high levels of asbestos fibres, leaving them at risk of contracting serious diseases such as lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis of the lungs.”
Reading issued its first ever fine for dog mess this week when an owner failed to clean up after her pet at a park popular with local children.
The unsuspecting dog owner - who had already been warned twice and handed leaflets about the need for her to clean up after her dog chose to ignore the advice as she took her pet for a walk around Kensington Road park.
She was promptly hit with a fixed penalty notice of £75 when one of the Council's dog wardens witnessed her failing to clean up after her dog once again.
A Surrey construction company has been ordered to pay a hundred and sixty thousand pounds in fines and costs after a worker narrowly escaped death when he was caught in a collapse of nine tonnes of steel and concrete.
Bola Akinola fell more than four metres when steelwork supporting concrete floor planks failed, causing the material to collapse, at a site in Westerham, Kent on 9 May 2009.
Mr Akinola, from Littlehampton, suffered life-changing injuries including multiple fractures to his pelvis, leg and arm.
The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which prosecuted Esher-based Landmark Groundworks Ltd for serious safety breaches.