Builder carried out asbestos removal work without any license…
A builder in Birmingham has been fined for exposing both himself and families that lived in the proximity of the house he was renovating to dangerous asbestos fibres.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) decided to prosecute the man after learning that he had broken up and removed asbestos panels from a house without the necessary safeguards in the Castle Bromwich area of the city.
The HSE investigation into the incident discovered that the man had breached a number of safety regulations while in the process of converting a garage into a living room. He removed several asbestos insulating boards (AIBs) from the property while wearing only a dust mask to protect himself and he proceeded to break up the AIBs and place them in the driveway of the property.
Solihull Magistrates’ Court heard that the man didn’t have a license to carry out asbestos removal work and he also failed to provide evidence of any kind of plan for the renovation work nor had he undertaken the legally required survey of the building.
The court was also told that the man had put the nearby residents at risk as well as himself by failing to inform them of the nature of his work. The builder was criticised for failing to take the specific safety precautions associated with asbestos removal and endangering the health of members of the public by exposing them to potentially dahgerous levels of airborne asbestos fibres.
He pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and was fined a total of £4,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,100.
HSE Inspector Paul Cooper spoke after the hearing had concluded:
“Asbestos fibres are a well known and widely publicised potential health risk. The type of work being undertaken at Rover Drive should only be carried out by a contractor who holds the necessary licence, in a safe manner and with the necessary control measures.
“By carrying out this work in such a careless way, the builder exposed himself and others to potentially harmful airborne asbestos fibres. He also demonstrated a complete disregard for the law.
“Unfortunately, those working in the construction industry are regularly exposed to asbestos. The legacy of past exposure is evident in the high numbers of people in the UK who are suffering from asbestos-related diseases which can sometimes be fatal. The current laws exist to protect future generations from this fate.”
Author: Julian Roberts
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