Cheltenham contractor and retailer prosecuted for asbestos exposure

Both a retailer and the contractor they used for a refurbishment on their retail shop failed to ensure an asbestos survey had been carried out, thus putting workers at risk of asbestos fibre inhalation.

A Cheltenham contractor and a retailer have been found guilty and fined after a construction worker was exposed to asbestos during a refurbishment project on a retail shop in Cheltenham.

Simon Cooper was engaged by Hutchinson Hi Fi and Vision Ltd in February 2010 to refurbish an empty shop unit on Cheltenham High Street. Mr. Cooper instructed workers, including construction worker Matthew Thompson also from Cheltenham, to remove 85 square meters of suspended ceiling over two days on 16th and 17th February 2012.

In a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on 27th July 2012, Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court heard that contractor Simon Cooper failed to ensure a proper Asbestos Refurbishment and Demolition Survey was assessed before work began. As a result, workers on site removed the ceiling which was asbestos insulation board without the necessary controls or adequate protection and therefore were exposed to asbestos fibres.

The Court then heard that Hutchinson HiFi & Vision Ltd also failed to provide any information regarding the presence of asbestos within the building. The law requires that they should have ensured a Refurbishment and Demolition Survey was carried out and the results made available to Mr Cooper.

Hutchinson HiFi & Vision Ltd, of High Street, Cheltenham, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 10 (1) (b) of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007 and was fined £3,500 and ordered to pay £1,836 in costs. Simon Cooper, of Leckhampton, Cheltenham, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and was fined £600 and ordered to pay £800 in costs.

Asbestos-related illnesses are responsible for around 4,000 deaths every year and Armco can ensure that you operate within the asbestos law, thus protecting yourself, co-workers and the general public for the serious risks that asbestos fibre inhalation. We undertake both Management and, Refurbishment and Demolition, Surveys in addition to single and bulk sampling and various s other asbestos related services. Call the Armco office on 0161 763 3727 for further details.

 

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Published Sep 05, 2012
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