Manufacturing Company Fined for Exposing Workers to Asbestos
After the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) learned that Power Link Machines (UK) Ltd was using asbestos-containing gaskets in its generator sets, the company was convicted for safety violations.
The gaskets tested positive for asbestos, according to the HSE’s Science Division. On March 26, 2018, the company received a Prohibition Notice asking them to stop using these gaskets and verify that no asbestos-containing goods were imported.
A second concern was received on September 21, 2018, claiming that employees were being requested to work on a generator set that contained gaskets that appeared very similar to ones found to contain asbestos earlier in the year, according to Leeds Magistrates’ Court. Power Link Machine (Shanghai) Co Ltd had imported this equipment.
Gaskets found containing asbestos
The HSE discovered that these gaskets also contained asbestos and that the company had broken the Prohibition Notice issued in March 2018 by bringing the generator set into the country. After allowing an inexperienced employee to remove the gaskets, which released asbestos fibres into the generator set, the business asked two additional employees to operate within the generator set, exposing them to asbestos fibres.
Power Link Machines (UK) Ltd, of Hurricane Close, Vickers Building, Sherburn in Elmet, petitioned guilty of violating the Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and Regulation 9 (1) & Schedule 6, part II, section II of the REACH enforcement regulations 2008. The firm was fined £22,000 and forced to pay £2,062 in costs.
After hearing, HSE inspector Rachel Brittain stated: “Asbestos fibres are discharged into the air when asbestos-containing objects are disturbed or destroyed. When these fibres are ingested, they can lead to significant health problems.
This event would not have happened if the corporation had implemented strict controls to ensure that asbestos-containing goods were not imported.”