An NHS trust and security firm have been fined following a series of health and safety breaches, which led to an asbestos outbreak in Wellingborough hospital.
Northamptonshire NHS Teaching Primary Care Trust, Nutec Security Systems Ltd, and its company director Paul Beeby were fined after the incident at Isebrook Hospital in Wellingborough, Northants. All three pleaded guilty to a breach of health and safety regulations at Wellingborough Magistrates’ Court following a prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Nutec was employed by the trust to upgrade security at the hospital between April 21 and June 9, 2008. During the work, engineers ran cables through false ceilings and partition walls in public areas, but this led to asbestos fibres being released into the hospital, which had remained open to the public and staff.
HSE investigators found the trust had not ensured that the contractor had received information about asbestos in the building or planned the project management of the work correctly. They also found Nutec had assumed areas of the hospital did not contain asbestos and Beeby had not ensured his surveys were sufficient to identify if asbestos was present.
The HSE said the court was told that, as a director of the company and the person undertaking the surveys, Beeby should have ensured he had accessed all areas where his employees were going to be working and so had not informed engineers adequately of the potential risks they faced.
Both firms and company director, Paul Deeby pleaded guilty to breaching a series of health and safety regulation and were fined a total of Ã‚Â£9,400 and order to pay cost of Ã‚Â£5265.