After the residents became concerned that the man was removing asbestos, they contacted the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) who subsequently investigated the incident. The Inspector found that the engineer had ignored the resident’s concerns and continued to carry out the removal. He had also stored the material in his yard rather than disposing of it as asbestos waste. In all, this was a very unsafe act and could potentially have serious implications for anyone in the property at the time.
5 Key Tips to Keep Staff and Others Safe
- Before you let anyone undertake work on your boiler or other gas equipment, make sure the contractor is Gas Safe registered. You can check this here http://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/ The front of their identification card will have a photo and an expiry date for when the card is valid, and the rear will say which type of gas work they are licensed to do, for example, boilers or gas fires.
- Give the contractor all of the information you have on the location of any asbestos, including surveys and asbestos management plans. Remember that older boilers often have insulation around them that contains asbestos.
- If you need reassurance that a contractor is competent to carry out particular work, you can ask for references from other companies that have used the individual or firm.
- Any property built or refurbished before the year 2000 could have asbestos in it. If workers come across it or suspect they have found it during the course of gas work, they must stop work until the material is assessed. Make sure your staff know this, especially those responsible for managing the project.
- Make sure you follow any information given by the engineer if they find an item that is unsafe – they should put a warning label on it which reads ‘Danger Do Not Use’ and you must ensure this stays in place until the item is made safe again.
You have a duty to protect everyone on the premises – always discuss the job with your intended contractor, and satisfy yourself beforehand that they are competent to do the work.
Contact us should you require advice.