Harrow Council acknowledged mistakes were made during an investigation into a health and safety incident in which asbestos and syringes were taken to a public tip.

Its latest annual health and safety report – covering 2019/20 – outlined several issues surrounding the fallout of the incident, which happened in June 2019.

The fly-tip was picked up by Harrow Council housing caretakers in Grange Farm Estate and taken to the Civic Amenity Site, in Forward Drive.

Once it was at the site, it emerged the waste contained asbestos sheeting and split plastic bags holding needles, syringes and medicine jars.

The report noted the investigation “never established a path to understand the root cause of the incident” and “failed to set a clear path forward” to prevent it happening again.

It added an action plan aimed at addressing the issues associated with the incident was not finalised until November 2019, some five months after it occurred and, even at this stage, its root causes were “never established”.

To combat this in the future, the council devised a series of suggestions including “tighter” reviews of external investigators, greater interaction with trade unions and more training for management.

It also said the wider health and safety investigation process and procedure must be more clearly set out going forward.

Despite these issues, the council’s report acknowledged there was some evidence of good practice, notably the ability of the Civic Amenity Site’s staff to recognise hazardous waste and their response to controlling it.