Latest News  Council to be billed by watchdog over school asbestos health and safety breaches - The Press and Journal

Council to be billed by watchdog over school asbestos health and safety breaches - The Press and Journal

Council to be billed by watchdog over school asbestos health and safety breaches

Source - https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/aberdeen/1620283/council-to-be-fined-over-bridge-of-don-academy-health-and-safety-breaches/

Aberdeen City Council has been warned it faces a bill for breaching health and safety laws at a secondary school.

The Health and Safety Executive launched an investigation after it emerged 25 members of staff were allowed into Bridge of Don Academy after potentially deadly asbestos was found during works.

On July 12, an apprentice joiner working at the school discovered asbestos behind an insulation board and informed his supervisor, who had it wrapped in plastic and left beside a skip.

A further piece of board – still above the door and intact – was covered using a ceiling tile and cardboard.

But no action was taken to seal off the area and it was five days until a sample was taken.

In August, it emerged that up to 25 members of staff accessed the building in the days following the discovery – because a line manager “forgot” to report it.

Now the HSE has ruled Aberdeen City Council breached three health and safety rules: Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 2002 and the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015.

The authority now has until December 20 to respond to the findings of the report.

An HSE spokeswoman said: “HSE can confirm it has today issued a notice of contravention to Aberdeen City Council for contraventions of health and safety law relating to the disturbance of asbestos at Bridge of Don Academy during refurbishment work in the summer.”

Last night union boss Tommy Campbell accused the city council of a “symptomatic of a casual approach to the safety of workers” and called for a full internal investigation.

Asbestos, once a popular building material, is linked to the deaths of around 5,000 workers each year, claiming more lives than motorists involved in accidents on the road

Mr Campbell said: “The report on the asbestos incident at the Bridge of Don Academy is absolutely scathing.

“It’s our belief that the Bridge of Don Academy incident is not a one-off but symptomatic of a casual approach to the safety of workers and the public.

“Aberdeen City Council clearly requires an investigation into its health and safety procedures – whether they are the best placed to do this in light of this evidence is highly debatable to say the least.”

Liberal Democrat education spokesman Martin Greig said: “The lack of action to deal with the danger is a real concern.”

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