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Colchester Zoo guilty on 12 charges in relation to asbestos removal

Posted by Tracy Seward

Colchester Zoo was yesterday fined £35,000 at Chelmsford Crown Court after pleading guilty to 12 separate charges in relation to the removal of asbestos from a Zoo building during May and June 2011.

During the proceedings, it was reported that untrained zoo staff removed 99% of the asbestos-containing material while a licensed contractor was called in to remove the remaining 1%.

Colchester Borough Council brought the charges against the zoo because the specialist contractor should have been used to remove 100% of the ACM’s as opposed to zoo employees in protective clothing.

The zoo did have possession of an asbestos survey for the building but they claimed they were unaware that a licensed contractor was required for its safe removal.

In a statement from the council a spokeswoman said:

“Colchester Borough Council is pleased to have concluded this successful prosecution. Those responsible for commercial or business premises have a health and safety duty to others working there.

“Our Food and Safety Team carries out regular checks on local businesses and business premises to ensure that safe and healthy working conditions are provided for all employees and visitors.

“We hope this sentence sends out a clear message that the Council is committed to identifying and prosecuting businesses not operating to health and safety guidelines.”

For the full story visit the EADT website

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