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August 22, 2018

Trader left deadly asbestos dust at couple’s Leeds home

Trader left deadly asbestos dust at couple’s Leeds home

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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 in our schools is a local and national scandal’

‘Asbestos in our schools is a local and national scandal’

Asbestoes warning sign

Asbestoes warning sign

  • At least 570 schools in central Lancashire contain asbestos

  • The National Union of Teachers has been running a major campaign to tackle the problem

  • Preston and Lancaster have the highest number of schools known to contain asbestos

At least 570 of the county’s 617 schools contain asbestos, the bulk of them in Preston, Chorley and South Ribble, according to data released following a Freedom of Information request.

The National Union of Teachers has been running a major campaign for more than a year to try to tackle the problem in the county and today national and county health and safety officer Ian Watkinson branded the figures “a scandal on a local and national scale”.

Asbestos sign
Asbestos sign

He said: “We have been campaigning about this on both national and local level.

“It is so important. Parents don’t know, nor do teachers, and most of it is much of it is not being managed properly.”

“Children, teachers and other school workers are being needlessly exposed to deadly asbestos fibres on a daily basis.”

Information held by the county council shows the highest number of schools known to contain asbestos are in Preston and Lancaster, which each have 66.

Children, teachers and other school workers are being needlessly exposed to deadly asbestos fibres on a daily basis.

Ian Watkinson

There are 50 in Chorley, 40 in South Ribble, 52 in West Lancs and 22 in the Ribble Valley.

The county abides by national policy which means leaving asbestos in situ unless it becomes a problem.

Between September 2010 and February 2011 the county council paid out £421,322 in compensation and £63,500 in legal costs.

Latest available figures, up to November 2013, show that five other claims are still outgoing.

Ian Watkinson
Ian Watkinson

The NUT said lives are being put at risk and Ian Watkinson said the teaching unions were working together and calling for urgent action by the government.

The county said it was unable to specify how many incidents there had been involving the repair or removal of asbestos in recent years but said:

However, when asbestos is disturbed or deteriorates it becomes extremely unsafe and inhaling the dust and fibres can lead to serious illness decades later.

County Coun Matthew Tomlinson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “As in all other councils around the country, most of Lancashire’s older schools contain some asbestos.

“Where it occurs, it is inspected regularly and does not represent any threat to staff, children or young people.

“As long as it is in good condition, well-sealed and not disturbed then it is far safer to leave it well alone.

“Our qualified asbestos surveyors inspect asbestos-containing materials at least once a year and sometimes more often depending on risk.

“We deal with any concerns immediately, although between inspections we do rely on schools telling us if they have noticed anything amiss, or if they have brought in their own workmen.

“If schools are undergoing building work or renovation, then an additional survey is carried out to identify the presence of any asbestos. If necessary, removal is carried out by a specialist firm.”

Following a national campaign by teaching unions the Government last week published the findings of its review of asbestos policy in schools,calling for better training and guidance.

It was described as “a step in the right direction, but no more.”




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‘Asbestos in our schools is a local and national scandal’

Cera manager slated for sending 'sexy' asbestos email

Cera manager slated for sending ‘sexy’ asbestos email

Published: 6:49AM Friday June 06, 2014 Source: Fairfax

Asbestos Girl (Source: YouTube)

Asbestos Girl – Source: YouTube

A Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) staff member sent contractors a link to a ”very inappropriate” YouTube video, depicting a fictional woman who wants to meet asbestos workers for sex before they die of cancer.

The video clip, titled Asbestos Girl , features a woman talking to an asbestos worker in a bar about how people in his profession are brave ”because you know you’re going to die of mesothelioma”.

Mesothelioma is a rare fatal cancer of the lining of the lungs or abdominal cavity and can be caused by asbestos, a known carcinogen.

The link to the video was sent to about 40 Cera contractors by Cera residential red zone operations manager Tim Pow on Friday.

Pow’s email included the message: ”Now who said Asbestos was not the game to be in.”

The woman in the clip says: ”I’m just asking you to come back to my house, sniff some sealant and remove my asbestos – you know, have sex – before you die of mesothelioma.”

A Christchurch contractor, who did not want to be named, said the video was ”in very poor taste” and the email had caused outrage among its recipients.

New Zealand Demolition and Asbestos Association executive member Helina Stil said the email was ”pretty strange”.

”They think it’s all funny and stuff like that, but actually it’s not. It’s detrimental to what we’re trying to achieve as women, but it’s also detrimental to the industry as a whole.” She told Cera on Monday that the email was ”disap pointing”.

”Tim is a really really nice guy but in this instance, the email was inappropriate.”

Stil was concerned that the email also appeared to make light of the fact asbestos was a highly dangerous substance, particularly following criticism last week about how it had been handled during Canterbury’s earthquake rebuild.

”I think it’s actually very, very poor timing and very, very poor taste.”

Cera chief executive Roger Sutton said the email intended to give people a laugh ”but in reality it was just dumb”.

”The content has caused offence to some, and to anyone that has been offended, I apologise on behalf of Cera.”

Cera was a strong supporter of women working in the rebuild, and about half of its senior leaders were women, along with 64% of its fixed-term and seconded staff, he said.

Cera also treated asbestos management ”very seriously” and had strict requirements in place for contractors dealing with the substance at Crown-owned properties.

Sutton said Cera would be reminding staff of its policies and expectations for the use of work email.

    Copyright © 2014, Television New Zealand Limited. Breaking and Daily News, Sport & Weather | TV ONE, TV2 | Ondemand

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    Cera manager slated for sending 'sexy' asbestos email

    Manager slated for sending 'sexy' asbestos email


    ‘Sexy’ asbestos email sent by Cera manager


    NICOLE MATHEWSON

    Last updated 05:00 06/06/2014

    VIOLET KRUMBEIN/YouTube

    Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority staff member sent contractors a link to this “very inappropriate” YouTube video

    Tim Pow

    Stacy Squires/Fairfax NZ

    ‘POOR TASTE’: The link to the “inappropriate” video was sent by Cera residential red zone operations manager Tim Pow.

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    A Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) staff member sent contractors a link to a ”very inappropriate” YouTube video, depicting a fictional woman who wants to meet asbestos workers for sex before they die of cancer.

    The video clip, titled Asbestos Girl, features a woman talking to an asbestos worker in a bar about how people in his profession are brave ”because you know you’re going to die of mesothelioma”.

    Mesothelioma is a rare fatal cancer of the lining of the lungs or abdominal cavity and can be caused by asbestos, a known carcinogen.

    The link to the video was sent to about 40 Cera contractors by Cera residential red zone operations manager Tim Pow on Friday.

    Pow’s email included the message: ”Now who said Asbestos was not the game to be in.”

    The woman in the clip says: ”I’m just asking you to come back to my house, sniff some sealant and remove my asbestos – you know, have sex – before you die of mesothelioma.”

    A Christchurch contractor, who did not want to be named, said the video was ”in very poor taste” and the email had caused outrage among its recipients.

    New Zealand Demolition and Asbestos Association executive member Helina Stil said the email was ”pretty strange”.

    ”They think it’s all funny and stuff like that, but actually it’s not. It’s detrimental to what we’re trying to achieve as women, but it’s also detrimental to the industry as a whole.” She told Cera on Monday that the email was ”disappointing”.

    ”Tim is a really really nice guy but in this instance, the email was inappropriate.”

    Stil was concerned that the email also appeared to make light of the fact asbestos was a highly dangerous substance, particularly following criticism last week about how it had been handled during Canterbury’s earthquake rebuild.

    ”I think it’s actually very, very poor timing and very, very poor taste.”

    Cera chief executive Roger Sutton said the email intended to give people a laugh ”but in reality it was just dumb”.

    ”The content has caused offence to some, and to anyone that has been offended, I apologise on behalf of Cera.”

    Cera was a strong supporter of women working in the rebuild, and about half of its senior leaders were women, along with 64 per cent of its fixed-term and seconded staff, he said.

    Cera also treated asbestos management ”very seriously” and had strict requirements in place for contractors dealing with the substance at Crown-owned properties.

    Sutton said Cera would be reminding staff of its policies and expectations for the use of work email.


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    Manager slated for sending 'sexy' asbestos email

    Asbestos discovery adds $70,000 to Carnegie Elementary project


    By Megan Guza


    Published: Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

    Updated:
    Thursday,
    August 1, 2013

    Contractors renovating Carnegie Elementary School ran into a hiccup last week when they discovered asbestos on top of the ceiling, which caused the Carlynton School Board to approve just over $70,000 in repair costs.

    The asbestos debris was found above and on top of the ceiling tiles in the basement and first floor of the school during scheduled renovations that include the installation of new heating, ventilation and air conditioning, or HVAC, equipment.

    Jon Thomas, of Thomas & Williamson Project Management, which is overseeing the contracting work for the school, said teachers and students never were exposed to the asbestos.

    “It’s not in the airstream,” he said. “All the air is circulating below the ceiling.”

    He said the hazard was to the contractors, who are unable to go in and complete the work until the asbestos is abated.

    The board approved an additional $27,850 to remove asbestos debris found on top of the ceilings in the basement and first floor. The board also approved $42,400 to remove asbestos found in three areas during installation of the new HVAC equipment.

    The funding for the work will come from a type of contingency fund, he said.

    “When we go into projects like this, we set money aside to deal with these unforeseen things,” Thomas said. “While we say it’s unforeseen, we know we’re going to run into some of this. It’s just not quantified at the time.”

    Schools must be tested every three years for asbestos, but, Thomas said, tests don’t always include concealed spaces — such as above ceiling tiles.

    Thomas said that while the newly found asbestos does create a small bump in the road, it will not delay progress on the renovations, as contractors are able to work in other areas while the asbestos is abated.

    Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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