Demolition work disturbed ACMs after no survey was undertaken.. A managing director of a construction company from Brighton has been fined after failing to implement the necessary safety measures to protect him employees from the asbestos risk they faced during the demolition of a building at at Bluebell Business Estate, Uckfield.
The HSE prosecuted the 44-year-old after their investigation revealed he had been in breach of asbestos safety regulations.
Brighton Magistrates’ Court heard that during the Summer of 2011 the man had ordered his employee to demolish a building at the estate in Uckfield using an excavator. However it was revealed that the man had failed to carry out the necessary asbestos survey before commencing the work and asbestos containing materials (ACMs) had been disturbed during the demolition work putting the lives of those in proximity to the ACMs at risk.
The court also learned that the man had been informed of his duty to manage the risks of working with asbestos previously after Lewes District Council warned him of the potential dangers in September 2008. The director of the company had even gone to the trouble of obtaining a quote for an asbestos refurbishment survey for another construction project nearby in February 2011 but safety measures must be applied consistently as per HSE guidelines to minimize risks and protect the safety of all workers.
HSE Inspector Russell Beckett commented after the hearing:
“Asbestos can be difficult to identify unless you are trained and competent to do so. Before any demolition or dismantling work starts, an assessment must be carried out to establish whether asbestos is present. A survey will tell you whether asbestos is present and what to do about it.
“Mr Marshall was well aware of the need to carry out an asbestos survey but decided to carry on without one. This is a shocking case of a director who did know better simply ignoring the law.
“Up to 4,000 people a year die from asbestos related diseases. HSE will not hesitate to prosecute those like Mr Marshall who flout the law.”
The Managing Director pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(3) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006. He was fined a total of £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,449.