January 18, 2019

Trader left deadly asbestos dust at couple’s Leeds home

Trader left deadly asbestos dust at couple’s Leeds home



A Trader who exposed a Leeds couple to potentially dangerous levels of asbestos dust has been given a suspended jail term.

Clive Raper, 49, took a job to remove asbestos insulating board from the garage of the couple’s home in Bramhope without a legal licence.

Trading as Bramley Asbestos Removals, he hired workers to help him but failed to take vital safety precautions or implement legal controls to protect people and the environment.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Raper for safety breaches after investigating the incident in July 2011.

The court heard Raper left asbestos debris and residue at the site, compounding the owners’ risk of inhaling the potentially cancer-causing substance.

They were so concerned with how the garage was left they contacted Leeds Council, which reported the matter to the HSE.

Raper, of Fawcett Gardens, Lower Wortley, admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Control of Asbestos Regulations.

He was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay £260 in costs.

HSE inspector Paul Yeadon said: “It is appalling that a trader who is fully familiar with the restrictions governing asbestos wilfully ignores them and puts a household and the workers he has hired in danger.

“It would appear that he has put profit ahead of the health and wellbeing of others, and in this case quite bafflingly, he put his own health at risk as well.

“We were unable to identify the two workers involved as Mr Raper could not provide their full names or contact details. We do think, however, that they were probably both exposed to asbestos fibres above the action level.

“This kind of work must be carried out by competent people with the necessary licence.”

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Trader left deadly asbestos dust at couple’s Leeds home

Asbestos anxiety as girl tumbles into Telstra pit

CAUSE FOR CONCERN: Still horrified by the potential discovery of asbestos in a Telstra pit across the road from their house in Sisters Beach are Jarrod Woodland and Melanie Strempel with Angela, 5, and Levi Strempel, 7. Picture: Meg Windram.

CAUSE FOR CONCERN: Still horrified by the potential discovery of asbestos in a Telstra pit across the road from their house in Sisters Beach are Jarrod Woodland and Melanie Strempel with Angela, 5, and Levi Strempel, 7. Picture: Meg Windram.

A SISTERS Beach mother-of-two got the shock of her life after her daughter partially fell into a Telstra services pit last week.

Melanie Strempel’s daughter suffered minor cuts and abrasions, however it was what she found at the bottom of the pit that was the cause for concern.

After running out to see if her daughter was alright, Miss Strempel noticed broken pieces of cement sheeting at the bottom of the pit.

Miss Strempel and her partner believe it’s asbestos.

“We were observing my daughter out the window of our house playing over the road,” Miss Strempel said.

“The pit is on a hump on the grass and a lot of children play in that area, riding their bikes.

“My partner noticed my daughter go over the hump on her bike when the lid flipped up and she fell into it.

“When we went over to see if she was alright in the bottom of the pit we noticed all the broken bits of asbestos, the pit had deteriorated on the inside.”

Miss Strempel lost her grandfather to an asbestos-related disease and the incident during the week brought back memories.

She was straight on the phone to Telstra to report the incident.

“When I spoke to Telstra they said someone would come out to fix the problem.

“Three days later a technician turned up only to put a plastic sheet over it and a yellow cage.”

Telstra were contacted for comment.

The company does have an asbestos procedure listed on its website.

This comes after crews fitting out pits for the National Broadband Network found asbestos.

More information can be found on the website at www.telstra.com.au/aboutus/media/emergencies-incidents/asbestos/.

Original article:

Asbestos anxiety as girl tumbles into Telstra pit

Warrnambool council depot closes after asbestos scare

ASBESTOS contamination fears were sparked after suspicious-looking sheeting was thrown into a crusher at a Warrnambool depot.

The gates are locked at Warrnambool City Council’s Scott Street depot after an asbestos scare. 141212RG17 Picture: ROB GUNSTONE

The gates are locked at Warrnambool City Council’s Scott Street depot after an asbestos scare. 141212RG17 Picture: ROB GUNSTONE

Warrnambool City Council’s Strong Street depot was in lockdown yesterday after the discovery of material believed to contain asbestos.

About 20 depot staff were working in the vicinity at the time the sheeting was found.

A snap meeting between council chiefs and workers was held yesterday morning.

Australian Services Union regional organiser Mark Brady said the suspicious sheeting was placed in a concrete crusher, leading to concerns over the potential spread of asbestos particles.

“This is going to be a massive cost to the council one way or another,” Mr Brady said.

“What we understand is the sheeting was identified as potentially asbestos on Tuesday, yet it’s only when we get to Thursday when there’s some strong reaction to the problem.

“The concrete crusher reduces material to powder, which is the state at which asbestos is at its most dangerous. If that’s got onto people’s skin, onto clothing and picked up by the wind, that is a real concern.”

Dust-supressing sprinklers were turned on and other precautions taken as safety officials travelled from Geelong yesterday to contain the site and assess if the crushed material was asbestos.

Text messages were sent to Strong Street depot workers on Thursday evening informing them not to go to work yesterday.

The city council confirmed that a small amount of asbestos-like sheeting was found on Tuesday and was bagged and sealed following expert advice.

The sheeting was found with used road-making materials which were being prepared for recycling.

On Wednesday another quantity of sheeting was discovered near stockpiled road materials, which led council officials to close the depot while testing of the material took place.

City council chief executive Bruce Anson said an independent expert was undertaking an extensive audit of the depot yesterday.

“The initial assessment across our entire depot and around its boundaries has shown there is no asbestos contamination beyond the few pieces found that have since been sealed and removed,” Mr Anson said in a statement. “The closure of the depot is a precautionary measure while we determine whether there is a serious problem and, if there is, the extent of it.”

Mr Anson said WorkSafe had been notified and the city council was following recommended procedures.

“The material thought to contain asbestos was hosed down to ensure it was contained,” he said. “We’re keeping our depot staff — who informed us of the suspect material — apprised of the situation.”

Mr Brady said the workers operating the crusher had not been trained to handle asbestos, adding that the incident highlighted the need for greater checks and balances.

“We’re all too aware of the horrors of asbestos from the news over the years,” the ASU official said.

“We need to ensure our work sites are safe and one of the ways to do that is to provide proper training.”

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Warrnambool council depot closes after asbestos scare

Asbestos scare temporarily shuts down House side of US Capitol

The House side of the U.S. Capitol building was temporarily closed Thursday morning after an apparent asbestos accident. ;

But after hazardous material response teams arrived on the scene and conducted air testing, Fox News is told the tests came back negative. Fox News is also told nobody was injured in the accident overnight.” ;

Fox News is told workers were removing asbestos overnight when something fell. Parts of the House side were closed Thursday morning, but it later returned to normal operations. ;

Morning debate in the House was canceled over what the speaker’s office described as an “industrial accident.” ;

The incident did not affect the Senate side, and nearby House office buildings are still open and accessible. ;

Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report. ;

Original article: 

Asbestos scare temporarily shuts down House side of US Capitol

Asbestos, mold threat keeps ag building closed

SEGUIN — Guadalupe County’s Agriculture Building will remain vacant for at least a week or two and possibly longer.

County Judge Larry Jones ordered the building at 210 E. Live Oak St. vacated Friday afternoon after receiving a letter from County Attorney David Willborn warning of the county’s potential exposure to liability because of asbestos and mold problems in the building.

Jones said he had no choice other than to order the building evacuated, and he also called an emergency meeting of commissioners court to discuss the situation.

Before the emergency meeting was convened Monday afternoon, additional chairs were brought into the commissioners courtroom to accommodate the crowd. The group included AgriLife Extension agents, 4-H leaders, 4-H members, master gardeners and others.

Jones said that throughout the court’s budget workshops there was no mention of a need to renovate the ag building until the final budget workshop on Sept. 10 when Commissioner Jim Wolverton suggested allocating $1.5 million in the 2014 budget for renovation of the building.

Besides mentioning the building’s mold problem, Wolverton said someone had fallen through the roof.

Jones said he later determined that a workman’s foot had gone through the roof back in 2011, but the man wasn’t injured and there was no worker’s compensation claim resulting from the incident. The county spent $4,500 to repair the roof, he said.

“The court has gone through several budgets and not fixed that roof properly,” Jones said.

“All we’re doing is being proactive in getting people out of a dangerous building,” Wolverton said.

After learning about the asbestos problem in addition to the presence of mold, Wolverton went to see Willborn, and the letter to Jones followed.

Jones said he received the letter at about 3:30 p.m. Friday.

“Asbestos is not a health issue unless it’s disturbed,” Commissioner Greg Seidenberger said. “The issue is mostly with that meeting room.”

Floor tiles were attached with glue containing asbestos, and some of the tiles in the meeting room are cracked or chipped.

“It’s limited to the meeting room,” said Ricky Vasquez, the county’s building maintenance supervisor.

Vasquez said he placed a call on Friday to a company to evaluate the asbestos problem, and he had not yet heard back from the company about when they can come out. He said he also has called a company about air quality monitoring to evaluate the mold problem.

“When are we going to get the reports back?” Commissioner Kyle Kutscher asked.

Vasquez said he couldn’t answer that until he hears from both companies, but he said he doubted that the reports would be completed this week.

“These conditions have been there for several years,” AgriLife Extension agent Travis Franke told the court. “I’ve been there since July of ‘99, and I’m still breathing.”

“Can it be fixed now?” Commissioner Judy Cope asked. “I don’t believe we have the information at this time to tell anyone whether this is going to be a short-term or a long-term project.”

“I don’t think that building is any different from the courthouse, and we’re not evacuating that,” Jones said. “At 1.5 million dollars, we can build a brand new building for AgriLife.”

Others who addressed commissioners court during the emergency meeting included former County Judge Charlie Willmann, Peggy Jones, Cindy Martin, Ken Winkelmann, Mitchell Moczygemba and Krystal Moczygemba.


Asbestos, mold threat keeps ag building closed

Asbestos dust cloud threatens Beagle Bay school

Parents have been keeping their children away from a remote Kimberley school amid fears an old asbestos building being demolished just metres away poses a serious health risk.

An angry Jacinta Monck pulled her four children, aged 6-11, out of Sacred Heart School in Beagle Bay after part of its ceiling collapsed last Monday as water was being sprayed onto walls to help stop particles becoming airborne.

The incident created a huge dust cloud while children played during their lunch break. “There was a loud bang and a dust cloud had risen above the building being demolished,” Ms Monck said.

“The children were all ushered into the classroom and two of the school’s employees ran over to say ‘please stop work’.

“From that, it came that they would only work after school hours for the asbestos removal.”

Ms Monck was aware the work was happening but said a date was never given to parents.

“I was not told about what happened until I got home (last Monday) because I live on an outstation on the Dampier Peninsula,” Ms Monck said. “I was shocked and pulled my children out for the rest of the week.”

“My thing is not with the contractors, it is with the timing of the whole thing – school holidays are just two weeks away. No one had any forethought.”

An incident report has been prepared for the Shire of Broome.

Mining and Pastoral Member Stephen Dawson has written to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Peter Collier calling for the work to be suspended at the school.

In the letter, Mr Dawson said the dismantling of the structure posed a risk to the health of children and urged Mr Collier to postpone the works until school holidays.

“This will ensure that students are not necessarily taken out of school as the community becomes increasingly concerned for their children’s welfare,” he wrote.

After travelling to Beagle Bay and meeting with the school principal Lyla Forte last weekend Mr Dawson said work removing the asbestos had not begun when he was there.

He could understand parents’ concerns and that children should not be at school while an asbestos-ridden building was torn down.

Several calls to the school went unanswered last week.

In July the _Broome Advertiser _first lifted the lid on Aboriginal communities plagued with abandoned buildings.

The Shire of Derby/West Kimberley said one of them in Bayulu were a significant health risk because fibres had the potential to become airborne.

The Department of Aboriginal Affairs said the work to remove the potentially deadly material in Beagle Bay was not a risk to the public.

“The contractor is a Restricted Asbestos Licence Holder and has advised the work being undertaken does not pose any risk.”

Source article:

Asbestos dust cloud threatens Beagle Bay school

Building firm boss from Old Weston fined over asbestos

A soffit containing asbestosA soffit containing asbestos

EXPOSING workers to potentially lethal asbestos has cost a building firm boss more than £10,000 in fines and costs.

Michael Southern allowed workers to carry on removing soffit boards on a house which was being refurbished, despite being warned that they contained asbestos, a court has been told.

Southern, 48, of Brington Road, Old Weston, near Huntingdon, had not carried out a suitable survey to determine whether asbestos was present, magistrates in Bedford heard.

He admitted four offences of breaching the Control of Asbestos Regulations on August 30 last year and was fined £7,015 and ordered to pay £3,200 costs.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), told the court that Southern, owner of Bedford-based PMF Cladding, exposed an employee and a casual labourer to potentially fatal airborne asbestos fibres while they were removing and replacing soffits on a house at Sharnbrook.

He had not carried out a suitable survey in advance to see if asbestos – which causes around 4,500 deaths a year – was in the building and did not hold a licence to work with the dangerous material.

The HSE said that a neighbour told Southern that the soffits were made of asbestos insulating board but this did not stop him from carrying on with the work.

A complaint was made to the HSE and work was halted immediately after an inspector visited the site.

The HSE investigation found that Southern was aware from other jobs that soffits may contain asbestos, but had not taken this into account when assessing the job. He had also failed to provide information and training to workers who could be exposed to fibres.

After the hearing Gavin Bull, from the HSE, said: “Mr Southern, as a person running a cladding installation business, should have been in no doubt about the dangers posed by asbestos and of the regulations governing work with this material.

“Despite this, he progressed this work without testing the material to be removed for the presence of asbestos.

“This resulted in those working there being exposed to risk of inhaling airborne asbestos fibres without taking any suitable precautions.”

Mr Bull said: “This incident was entirely preventable and highlights the importance of having a robust asbestos management system in place.”

He said the type, location and condition of all asbestos-containing materials should be established and precautions put in place before work starts.

Mr Bull said higher-risk notifiable work should only be carried out by a licensed contractor.

Asbestos is is the single biggest cause or work-related deaths in the UK, with the material still found in many buildings.


Building firm boss from Old Weston fined over asbestos

Union's asbestos warning

A register of Telstra pits where asbestos may be found is to be set up by the Queensland branch of the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union.

It follows unconfirmed reports workers have been exposed to asbestos at a new site in Cairns and the incident is now being investigated by the Electrical Trades Union.

The federal government is taking steps to set up a government taskforce to investigate claims workers are being exposed to asbestos exposure while installing NBN cables in Telstra cable pits.

On Tuesday three Queensland National Broadband Network work sites – at Banyo, Carseldine and Mackay – were identified as potential problem sites for asbestos exposure.


CEPU Queensland spokesman Phil Hughes said on Wednesday the union had decided to set up the Queensland register after hearing the ETU was investigating the newest claim in Cairns.

“There were some young contractors in Cairns and they were in a pit cutting asbestos pipes and they were all covered in dust,” Mr Hughes said.

“So I’m getting some more information on that,” he said.

Mr Hughes said he had spoken with New South Wales CEPU officials after asbestos was discovered at a Penrith NBN worksite and the issue came to light.

He said only older Telstra pits were potential problems, because old fibro sheeting used in older pits had been progressively replaced by concrete and then poly/plastic sheets.

“It is only when the older pits are removed from the ground and they are broken up that we get dust,” he said.

“It is only when the pits are being broken out, or being worked on – or a new one is going in – that we have the issues,” he said.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie’s office said it had not been informed of any additional problem sites, other than the three it was notified of early this week.

“It is still just the three of them that we notified earlier this week; Banyo Carseldine and Mackay,” a staff officer said.

The man said he had not heard of a problem in Cairns, but said another allegation in Bundaberg was not asbestos.

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Union's asbestos warning