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Maintenance staff exposed to asbestos in boiler room

A council has been fined £18,000 after workers were exposed to asbestos five years after inspectors discovered it in a leisure centre boiler room.
Staff at a sports centre in Co. Durham were allowed to work unprotected with asbestos up until last year, even though council bosses were given an official warning in 2001.

The asbestos was present in pipe lagging surrounding a boiler in the Woodhouse Close leisure centre.

At the site, inspection reports were ignored, safety measures were absent and not one of the sports centre's maintenance workers were told of the presence of asbestos.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was called in to investigate after a maintenance worker based in the centre's plant room made a compliant.

Last week, Darlington magistrates court fined Wear Valley District Council after it admitted to six breaches of health and safety regulations.

Wear Valley District Council said it had been advised by its legal team not to comment on the case.
29 August 2007

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