Health and Safety Consultancy Services for SMEs in Birmingham, West Midlands and beyond

Council Workers Exposed to Asbestos in Birmingham
Posted by David Cant on September 19, 2011

Three men were exposed to asbestos while they undertook work on a school in Birmingham.  As a result of the direct exposure the Birmingham City Council and Solihull Supplies Ltd have been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive.

One of the first things you will learn from health and safety consultants is the importance of carrying out workplace risk assessments and planning any job before hand to help prevent accidents from occurring.  Unfortunately not all employees and contractors follow this advice, which is why three men have had their loves put at risk from the diseases caused from inhaling asbestos fibres.

Ceiling Tiles in School Contained Brown Asbestos

Birmingham Council hired Solihull Supplies Ltd to do some work on the William Cowper Primary school in Birmingham. Solihull Supplies then sub contracted the work. The refurbishment involved removing ceiling tiles from seven rooms in the school.  When the HSE investigated they discovered that the tiles which were removed contained brown asbestos.

The workers took many hours over the work and they were exposed to the fibres along with the school caretaker.  During the clean up a normal vacuum cleaner was used rather than a specialist one which could have stopped the fibres from being expelled into the air.

No License to Remove Asbestos

It was discovered that the subcontracting firm did not hold a license to remove asbestos safely and that their workers had no training in how to safely handle or remove asbestos.  No specialist protection gear was worn and the wrong equipment was used. This means that the three workers involved now have to prepare for the possible future which may involve them obtaining lung related diseases caused by the work carried out at the school.

Guilty Pleas Heard in Court

Birmingham Council pleaded guilty for their breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act.  These were Sections 2(1) and 3(1) for which they were fined £5,000 and also ordered to pay an additional £1091 in costs.

Solihull Supplies pleaded guilty and were fined £1750 for breathing Regulation 6(1) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006. They too will have to pay coasts of £1091.  The principal inspector from the HSE, Jo Anderson, said that as the health problems associated with asbestos are well publicised, incidents of this nature are not acceptable.

Health and Safety Services Provide Training and Surveys

Health and safety consultants are able to supply training, asbestos awareness training and health and safety training to ensure that no workers are put at risk from asbestos. The hidden killer is the biggest cause of work related deaths in the UK.  It is estimated that 4000 people die from asbestos related diseases each year.

Veritas Consulting offer a wide range of health and safety services which includes risk assessments, asbestos surveys and training.  If you feel that you would like to know more in order to protect your workers or yourself then talk to the health and safety consultants today.  Call 0800 1488 677 and make sure that you are doing everything demanded by the Health and Safety laws and the Control of Asbestos regulations.


Director at Veritas Consulting. The SME's favourite go-to consultant for health and safety know-how. Bucket loads of experience. Fluent in practical advice. Solutionist with a brain you can pick.

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