Company didn’t have the license to carry out asbestos removal work…
A demolition firm in Cheltenham has been prosecuted after removing asbestos waste without the necessary authority in Gloucester and exposing their employees to dangerous asbestos fibres.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) decided to prosecute the company after their investigation revealed that the company had been in breach of three regulations in the area of asbestos removal.
Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court heard that even though the firm had carried out an asbestos survey prior to beginning the asbestos removal work, they didn’t abide by the findings of the survey which indicated the presence of Asbestos Insulation Board (AIB) at the site and called for the asbestos to be removed in a controlled and safe manner.
The court was also told that the work was illegal as the company didn’t possess the necessary license to undertake asbestos removal and failed to take the steps to protect their employees from the risks associated with the work demonstrating a lack of asbestos awareness safety protocols. Furthermore the company didn’t dispose of the asbestos fibres in the recommended fashion thus increasing the risk of exposing more people to the asbestos.
The demolition firm pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 8, 11 and 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and was fined a total of £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,452.
HSE Inspector Andrew Kingscott spoke after the hearing had concluded:
“Where material such as asbestos insulating board is identified, it should only be removed by a contractor who holds the necessary licence, in a safe manner and with the necessary control measures. The company should have appointed an appropriately licensed contractor to remove the materials.
“By undertaking the work themselves they unnecessarily exposed their own workers to the risks associated with significant levels of airborne asbestos fibres and failed to adequately contain their spread.
“Unfortunately, those working in the construction industry are regularly exposed to asbestos materials and the legacy of past exposures is evident in the high numbers of people in the UK who are suffering the fatal effects of uncontrolled exposures to asbestos fibres during their working lives.”
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