Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at STORM Consultancy and XtremeSTORM!

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Asbestos Surveyors Prosecuted – Clients wishing to cut costs beware!

At a time when money is tight the recent successful prosecution of two asbestos surveyors David Harold and Shaun Hodgson were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after they failed to identify the presence of asbestos at 32 different locations in the former Sale Hotel on Marsland Road in Sale brings to light how possibly saving money could costs lives!

Trafford Magistrates’ Court was told that Mr Harold, 49, and Mr Hodgson, 32, were hired to carry out a full asbestos survey at the disused pub ahead of a major refurbishment project to bring it back into use.

They produced a report following a visit to the site on 31 May 2011, which was used by the principal contractor to identify which areas were safe to refurbish and which required a licensed company to remove asbestos before any work could take place.

However, the report failed to identify large amounts of asbestos in the basement. As a result, workers were exposed to potentially-deadly fibres as they carried out refurbishment work, installed pipes and fitted cabling.

The company overseeing the project immediately stopped the refurbishment work and brought in a specialist firm when one of its employees raised concerns that additional unidentified asbestos may be present in the basement.

The asbestos insulation material was not hidden, and was easily spotted in the second survey.

David Harold, of Balmoral Drive in Beverley, East Yorkshire, and Shaun Hodgson, of Sherbourne Cottages in Newton upon Derwent, York, each pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 after they put the health of workers at risk.

They were each ordered to carry out 40 hours of community service in the next year and to each pay £1,500 towards the cost of the prosecution.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Matt Greenly said:

“Asbestos consultants and surveyors perform a vitally important role in the construction industry and are relied on to keep workers safe.

“Construction companies trust their expert opinions to help prevent workers from being exposed to asbestos fibres. It’s therefore essential that they do not take their minds off the job when carrying out asbestos surveys.

“Sadly Mr Harold and Mr Hodgson’s work fell way below acceptable standards, despite them being well trained and seemingly experienced asbestos surveyors.

“It is hard to understand how they could have missed so much asbestos material during their survey when it was so plainly obvious to others.”

This degree of incompetence is unforgivble for a company whoes expertise is asbestos surveying.  This poor degree of workmanship could cost people their lives ironically what these contractors where there to safeguard.  If the asbestos had been extensively hidden or difficult to access then a degree of understanding could be given but this asbestos was open and unexposed. 

A word of advice when clients seek an asbestos surveyor – cheap is not always the best!  Ensure the company commissioned is competent and understands the task.

Top Tips for Selecting a Asbestos Surevying Company: 

1. Ensure the asbestos company has the experience – ask to see previous reports of a similar property type.

2.  Ensure the company has experienced staff – when did they qualify? 

3. Ensure the company has correct indemnity insurance.

4. Have they provided a pre inspection survey before the full pre-demoition survey?

5. Do they look as if they know what they are doing?  Are they safe - do they conduct the survey in a methodical manner?

6. Do they charge by the sample or do they provide a all inclusive price? A good compnay will already have an idea of how many samples they will need.  Less experienced will charge by the sample.

7.  Do they have more than one surveyor – good companies survey with 2 surveyors for quality control reasons?

8.  Do they liaise direct with the demolition company and turn up for the demolition to watch the critical stages – good companies will provide this as part of their fees?

9.  Do they take pride in their work – or are they keen to get off site as quick as possible?

10.  Do they penetrate every part of the building to ensure they access all parts of the structure – do they undress the construction – if the place doesn’t look like a bomb site or disturned after they have left then something might be wrong?

STORM Consultancy are experience asbestos surveyors who take pride in their work.  If you don’t believe then have a look at our many asbestos surveys filmed and currently on You Tube.  Or contact us on 0845 894 6342 or [email protected]

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Team Xtreme tackle XtremeSTORM

This weekend some extremely lucky members of Team Xtreme got to test some of what is set to be XtremeSTORM’s most grueling obstacles. The event is going to feature four swims in and around Southport’s very own Marine Lake. The temperatures are set to be around 3 degrees by the time competitors get to join in in April and the temperature was slightly colder this weekend!

Some of the guys got into their swimming gear and powered through the swim, hot chocolate was definitely on hand to greet them afterwards!

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STORM make the headlines!

It’s been an exciting two weeks for STORM and Team Xtreme… we’ve had the launch of our website and have seen XtremeSTORM unleashed into the public eye. Something that has been the brainchild of STORM Managing Director Jonathan for a while..something that one could only dream of creating..the dirtiest, toughest, nastiest endurance event in the UK!

We managed to feature in the Southport Visitor and many other publications. Please click the thumbnails to view the images in full.

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UK School Closes Due to Asbestos Fears

Asbestos is a natural mineral widely used in the construction of our UK schools in the 1950′s to 1980′s. But once again we fool ourselves into thinking that our children are safeguarded at school.  Current parental fears focus on predatory pedophiles on line or waiting near play grounds.  The reality is that poor management and awareness of the lethal dangers of this toxic mineral could be the greatest danger facing our children.

Cwmcarn High School in Caerphilly county South Wales was shut late on Friday after a structural report identified asbestos.  The question is why after the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 made it clear that all commercial premises have a legal due to manage asbestos? – why is it that schools suddenly close due to a building report?  The CAR 2006 is quite clear that asbestos must be well managed – to have a survey conducted is not sufficient to comply.  The management of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) is not as hard as many would think:

1. Ensure you know where the asbestos is located within your premises- get a competent asbestos survey company such as STORM Consultancy.

2. Ensure you are aware of the activities that are routinely conducted within your premises including future plans or expansions / alterations.

3.  Ensure you understand the type of asbestos found and its condition – this allows you to correctly risk assess the material – some asbestos is better left in place – some is better protected (e.g. to encapsulate i.e. contain or paint) or to in serious cases to remove it.

4.   Now you know where the asbestos is located ensure you inform people who need to know about it.  Protect them by briefing them – show them a copy of the asbestos register and ensure it is labelled correctly. How about those who do not speak English or Welsh?

5.  Also those who might come in contact with it – ie those who conduct maintenance or interfere with the building fabric must be asbestos aware – especially know the emergency procedures.

6.  Finally ensure those in a position of management know how to manage asbestos correctly.

So, the question remains why if it is so simple do we still have asbestos scares in our schools?  The sad fact is that many organisations still do not take the risks seriously enough.  Staff are not aware nor trained, asbestos registers are incomplete and sometimes seldom checked or reviewed and contractors are poorly managed on site.

Its time to take it seriously….Asbestos kills!

STORM Consultancy is an asbestos company that conducts asbestos surveys, removal, consultancy and staff training. If you have a school and you are concerned that your asbestos is not being managed correctly – phone STORM to arrange a FREE consultation.  Phone STORM on 0845 894 6342 or [email protected]

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XtremeSTORM Website Launch

We are happy to announce that the XtremeSTORM official website has now gone live!

This weekend team Xtreme have been out at various events giving out our XtremeSTORM fliers and giving the public a taste of what madness is to come…

Please click the picture below to be taken to XtremeSTORM’s website.

XtremeSTORM is something different…

13 Miles…35 Obstacles…set to take the UK by STORM


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Happy Birthday STORM Consultancy

Monday 1st October saw STORM’s 3rd Birthday, and we couldn’t of celebrated it with a better team!

’3 years, 3 apprentices’… STORM now have three young apprentices working in the office heading up what will be one of Southport’s biggest events!

XtremeSTORM is going to be one of the UK’s dirtiest, toughest, scariest extreme obstacles/run courses! With 18 KM of pain and 35 obstacles set to weaken the mind and body this event is definitely not something to be taken lightly.

STORM are extremely excited to run this event out to Southport and things are going extremely well at the moment. We also continue to be involved in some of the UK’s biggest music festivals, many different events, and are still very much focusing on other aspects of the business.

If you would like any more information on any of the services that STORM consultancy offer then please get in touch on 0845 894 6432.

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Xtreme STORM is coming to Southport

12 Gruelling Miles…45 Evil obstacles…all based in the quiet seaside resort that is Southport, UK.

It will never be the same again!

20th – 21st April 2013



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A Variety of Errors that Lead to the Death of Worker from a Refrigeration Company

A refrigeration company has been fined £110,000 after a worker was killed when an unsecured racking unit collapsed on him.

Jim Murphy was working for George Baker & Co (Leeds) Ltd at the firm’s factory in Idle, Bradford, when the incident took place on 1 December 2009.

The 61-year-old had been asked to help dismantle a stacking system as part of a reorganisation of that area of the factory. The racking was not bolted to the floor and employees were using it to store components, which made it increasingly unstable.

Mr Murphy was kneeling on the floor and removing labels from various parts, when one of the racking units toppled over and landed on him. His head hit a raised part of an adjacent machine and he was trapped underneath the overturned racking system. He died as a result of the head injuries he sustained.

HSE inspector Morag Irwin investigated the incident and found a number of safety failings. There was no system in place to safely move or inspect the racking, no indication of its maximum load, and workers weren’t trained in how to do the work.

Inspector Irwin said: “Sadly, the case was based on a catalogue of errors on the part of the company. There was no system to manage the racking, no identification of the racks and no inspection regime. No one had properly looked at the risks of the racking system, or how to move it and re-install it safely. People joined in and helped out as and when.

“But, most importantly, there was nothing to identify that the racking was not in use – no warning notice, or barrier tape. At some point, workers started to fill it. The more it began to fill, the more dangerous it became.”

George Baker & Co (Leeds) Ltd appeared at Bradford Crown Court on 6 September and pleaded guilty to breaching s2(1) of the HSWA 1974. In addition to the fine, it was ordered to pay £30,000 in costs.

In mitigation, the firm said it cooperated with the investigation and worked closely with the HSE to create a safe system of work.

After the hearing, inspector Irwin added: “I hope this case serves as an important reminder to companies to make sure racking systems are securely fixed and measures are in place to manage them carefully and, in particular, when they are being dismantled.”

STORM Consultancy provide Health & Safety services for many company in the UK. For more information please contact us. We’re also happy to give out some advice to anyone who may be struggling with Health & Safety matters – just get in touch!

STORM Consultancy , Health & Safety , Event Safety , Event Management , HSE , Compliance , Risk Assessments

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Possible Asbestos in roads!

A COUNCIL in the NSW Southern Highlands has been accused of withholding information about the possible use of asbestos waste in roadworks.

It was revealed on August 3 that recycled asbestos material had been used in the 2008 construction of two roads at Robertson, 100km southwest of Sydney.

But only last Friday, following a call from a concerned resident, did Wingecarribee Shire Council reveal it was aware of several more roads in nearby Wingello — including one near a primary school — that had been sourced from the same supplier and could also contain the hazardous material.

Yesterday, locals accused the council of neglecting to inform residents of the potential threat.

“They discovered there was a problem down in Robertson over a month ago, yet we had to call them to ask if our road was also affected,” said Wingello resident Annabelle Quince.

“You can’t tell me it takes over a month to work out which bits of road have been built with the same material.”

Ms Quince called the council after her neighbour, great-grandmother of nine Judy Ballard, read an old news report concerning the asbestos in Robertson and recognised similarities between the pictures and the material used on a road outside her home.

The pair confronted council, which confirmed the road outside their homes was under investigation for asbestos. But only after calling the Mayor did they receive confirmation it would be properly tested.

“When you have the potential of such a dangerous substance like asbestos, the council should’ve been proactive, telling everyone and testing properly to make sure it is safe,” Ms Quince said. The mother of two said she feared dust from the cracked road that blows directly in to her home could be contaminated.

Ms Ballard said that she had stopped her young relatives from using the road until given the all-clear. “I’m sure it was OK when it was sealed but now that it’s broken up there’s dust everywhere blowing in to people’s homes and they’re breathing it,” she said.

“If the council had’ve been doing the right thing, they should’ve come out here with water tankers and stop the dust from coming up.”

Mayor Ken Halsteed said council “took the matter very seriously” and would seal the roads if found to be dangerous, which could cost tens of thousands of dollars.

However, Mr Halsteed could not explain why the investigation had taken so long.

STORM Consultancy provide advice on all things asbestos, we also carry out asbestos surveys. For more info please get in touch on 0845 894 6342 or email us at [email protected] STORM Consultancy , Asbestos , Asbestos Survey , Health and Safety

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