The fine was imposed by the Royal Court yesterday but the court acknowledged that the company’s safety record over 45 years was exemplary and that it still continues to win awards for its health and safety practices.It emerged that vandals may have been responsible for causing the worst of two instances of exposure by breaking up asbestos insulation board some time between 1 July and 2 July last year.However, the court accepted, following submissions from defence counsel Advocate Justin Michel, that it was impossible to be certain of just who was actually responsible for breaking up the asbestos.In presenting the prosecution case, Crown Advocate Sally Sharpe said that the infractions arose from the demolition work that took place on the hangar.’During the course of demolition, certain employees of Trant and third parties were exposed to potential health risks, following exposure to asbestos fibres released into the atmosphere during the course of the work,’ she said.The court heard that there were two instances of asbestos being released.
The first was when a Trant worker put a hammer through a wall, despite the area being clearly marked to say that asbestos was present and that it should not be disturbed.
Advocate Sharpe submitted that the worker realised he had made a mistake as soon as he did it.The second instance was discovered on 2 July when asbestos debris was found scattered over the floor of the building.
However, expert disposal contractors were not called in until 4 July although no work was done on the site after lunchtime on 2 July.However, the Deputy Bailiff, Michael Birt, said the court believed that it was an ‘unusual’ case with significant mitigation.
As a result, fines of £7,500 were imposed on two counts totalling £15,000.
Sitting with the Deputy Bailiff were Jurats Potter and Allo.