Builders fined for unsafe asbestos removal

Two self-employed builders from Birmingham have been sentenced for exposing residents, as well as themselves, to asbestos.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Harnek Ram of Handsworth and Gulzar Singh of Smethwick, trading as G Builders, after they illegally removed and broke up asbestos panels from a home in Handsworth between 19 and 25 May 2012.

Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard today (4 July) that the resident of the property, who does not wish to be named, received a grant from Birmingham City Council to convert his garage into a bedroom and bathroom for his disabled father.

As part of the grant process, samples were taken on behalf of the City Council to test for asbestos and the results revealed asbestos was present. However, by the time the outcome of the samples were known, Mr Ram and Mr Singh had already broken up the asbestos insulating boards (AIBs) with a hammer and removed them.

HSE told the court that neither Mr Ram nor Mr Singh held the necessary licence to remove the asbestos boards. Nor did they carry out, or ask to see, any asbestos surveys, which are required by law before any demolition or refurbishment work is undertaken.

Their failure to comply with current laws put the householders, themselves and others at risk of inhaling the potentially harmful airborne fibres.

Mr Harnek Ram of Mary Road, Handsworth, and Mr Gulzar Singh, of Brian Road, Smethwick, both pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Mr Harnek Ram was fined a total of £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,200. Mr Gulzar Singh was also fined.

For more on the story click here: http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2013/rnn-wm-17511.htm

Armco are able to provide consultancy and advice, implement asbestos surveys and provides various asbestos related training to ensure you operate within the asbestos law and protect staff, customers and the general public from potentially fatal asbestos fibre inhalation. Contact the Armco team on 0161 763 3727.

 

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Published Jul 17, 2013
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