Equitas Academies Trust, owner and operator of Aston Manor Academy in Birmingham, England, and Birmingham Glass Services Ltd. were fined by the British Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for improper removal of asbestos at the school.
At a trial that took place on Thursday, November 14, 2013, the HSE argued that the school operator and the glass company were jointly negligent in ensuring that the repairs at the school were made in accordance with rules and regulations regarding asbestos safety. The HSE told the court that the school and the glass company did not inform the workers at the school of the possibility of asbestos in the window paneling.
The school operator hired the glass company to replace the windows at the Aston Manor Academy. The school told the glass company executives that the window panels may contain asbestos, but the information was never relayed to the workers. The glass company workers were forced to remove some of the panels containing asbestos with crowbars and dumped them outside, ironically right next to an asbestos decontamination site used in an unrelated asbestos abatement. According to the HSE, the workers were exposed to asbestos while replacing the window panels without appropriate safeguards in place.
The glass company was fined £5,000 and £1,969 in costs, while the school was fined £7,500 and £3,000 in costs.
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