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#1 Posted : 02 August 2001 09:48:00(UTC)
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Posted By Annetta Maslen
I would appreciate any views on the following:

A subcontractor working on an external garage roof disturbed suspected asbestos. Work stopped whilst the material was analysed. Nobody had access to the premises and the waste was disposed of as controlled waste.Only the operative was in fact exposed to the material. Incident investigation revealed lack of training for operatives, control of sub-contractors and monitoring arrangements. All of which are being addressed urgently by the contractor and monitored by the client.

My question is, should this be reported as a RIDDOR incident? Opinion is strongely divided - according to whether you are a contractor, sub-contractor or the client employing the main contractor.
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#2 Posted : 02 August 2001 11:57:00(UTC)
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Posted By Joe McNicholas
Annetta,
Personally, I would ring the RIDDOR line and ask them. If in any doubt I would always report the matter stating that you were unsure whether it was your responsibilty or not.

I know of a few cases were companies have been fined for failing to report an incident, but I don't know of any who have been fined for reporting something that does not need reporting.

Regards

Joe McNicholas
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#3 Posted : 02 August 2001 13:37:00(UTC)
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Posted By Ken Taylor
Good advice from Joe.
A question to ask in such circumstances is 'Who was in control or occupation of the workplace at the time?' If the site is clearly ring-fenced to the contractor (in word and deed) it's down to them.
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#4 Posted : 02 August 2001 14:03:00(UTC)
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Posted By Zyggy Turek
I agree with the previous responses. If you report it as a D.O., i.e. "escape of substances", it all depends on how nasty it is (& I think we all agree, asbestos is), how much was disturbed & was there anybody present at the time.If there is any doubt, report it.
I would also imagine that the HSE would then be looking at any contravention of the Control of Asbestos Regs. and Asbestos Licencing Regs.
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#5 Posted : 02 August 2001 14:06:00(UTC)
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Posted By Robert Woods
RIDDOR reg 21

21 Escape of substances
The accidental release or escape of any substance in a quantity sufficient to cause the death, major injury or any other damage to the health of any person.

The question is was there sufficient quantity to cause death or major injury?
Even very low exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma [cancer of the lining of the lung] so it should in theory be reported.
The main thing is that the worker[s] that were exposed should make a record of thier exposure [date[s], employer, outcome of any surveys that determine the type of asbestos etc] as asbestos disease latency periods are normally between 10 and 60 years. They should also tell their GP of the exposure.

The TUC, UCAT, and UNISON offer free asbestos exposure recording, incase the worst happens in the future.

Robert Woods
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#6 Posted : 03 August 2001 15:36:00(UTC)
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Posted By Arran Linton - Smith
Annetta,

This is a good NEBOSH exam question

If you look at the HSE Guidance document L73

Under the guidance for Schedule 2 of the RIDDOR 95 Regulations on page 45, asbestos as an escape of substances is reportable, provided it is “in a quantity sufficient to cause the death, major injury or any other damage to the health of any person”.

With asbestos that would be very difficult to identify what that quantity would be.

Also if you turn to page 12 the responsible person for reporting this dangerous occurrence, would be “the person in control of the premises where, or in connection with the work going on at which, the dangerous occurrence happened.
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