Published Monday, 11 March 2013
Asbestos was found at the estates building in the Belfast City Hospital grounds. (© UTV)
They were repairing a floor at Belfast City Hospital in January last year when they had to remove a section of ceiling made of asbestos insulation board (AIB).
The fabric was banned in 1999 but prior to that had been commonly used in the construction of many buildings.
Belfast Health and Social Care Trust knew the estates building contained asbestos, but they did not pass that information on to their maintenance contractors.
A Health and Safety Executive investigation also found some staff in key roles were not trained in managing asbestos.
The trust pleaded guilty to three breaches of health and safety legislation and was fined £10,000 plus £1,750 costs at Laganside Crown Court on Monday.
Investigating Inspector Hugh Moss said: "This case highlights the importance of not only having accurate and up-to-date asbestos surveys carried out, but also ensuring that this information is given to anyone who carries out work on premises which are known to contain asbestos.
"There is no such thing as a safe level of asbestos and cases like this should serve to remind tradesmen and those involved in maintenance activities that asbestos remains a significant danger to their health," he added.