Dalkeith shop fined for exposing staff to asbestos

Monday February 2nd 2015

Liverpool based retail firm B&M Retail Ltd have been fined £5,300 on Friday 31 January for breach of health and safety regulations at their Dalkeith store.

Following an investigation and reporting by Midlothian Council’s Environmental Health officers, the firm was fined for exposing employees to asbestos risk.

At Edinburgh Sheriff Court the firm pled guilty to a failure to prevent exposure of their employees to asbestos contrary to Regulation 10(1)(a) of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 and Section 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974.

The court heard that on 23 January 2010 smoke was believed to be emanating from a light fitting in the store.

The then store manager smashed a ceiling tile to gain access to the area to investigate matters. An electrician was subsequently engaged to attend and rectify the problem.

The Council inspected the premises in 2011 and it was noted that almost a quarter of the ceiling tile remained in place with debris from the broken tile still on the floor.

Analysis of the ceiling tile confirmed it contained asbestos.

And a subsequent investigation by Midlothian Council found the company’s asbestos management plan to be insufficient and served an improvement notice which required the deficiencies in the plan to be remedied.

The firm arranged for an environmental clean-up of the store and commissioned a company to conduct a fresh asbestos survey.

Councillor Jim Bryant, cabinet member for environmental health, said: “This is a victory for common sense, helping to keep employees safe.

“Our environmental health officers did a fantastic job in investigating and in helping to bring this case to court.

“The conviction serves as a reminder to employers both large and small that breaching health and safety regulations will not be tolerated.”

First published on www.midlothian.gov.uk

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