Property developer prosecuted for unsafe asbestos removal
A property developer from Nottinghamshire has pleaded guilty to exposing employees to asbestos has been given an eight-month suspended prison sentence and been ordered to pay fines and costs of £100,000.
Nottingham Crown Court have been informed that James Roger Carlton, also known as Roger Stephen Parry, 64, of South Leverton, disregarded the presence of asbestos insulation board at the site of the former King Edward VI School on London Road, Retford.
He was already fully aware that the potentially dangerous material formed part of the pre-fabricated buildings on the site, but ignored advice on its safe removal.
During 1 March 2012 The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) visited the school during a construction safety initiative. The inspector identified the type of building which is known to contain asbestos, and gave Mr Carlton advice on what he needed to do to comply with the relevant legislation regarding its removal.
Just over a week later, on 9 March, a complaint was received from a member of the public advising that the asbestos was not being removed properly. Mr Carlton, was instructed to have asbestos surveys carried out and to arrange for the licensed removal of the material.
During a re-visit to the site on 17 May, inspectors found building rubble containing asbestos that had not been properly disposed of in the advised way. A Prohibition Notice was immediately served to stop all work with, or liable to disturb, the material asbestos and a direction to ‘Leave Undisturbed’ was imposed on the piles of contaminated rubble.
HSE inspectors made a third unannounced visit on 13 October and found workers in breach of the Prohibition Notice.
They discovered two workers putting asbestos insulation board into a lockable skip and ‘dry sweeping’ the dust, which resulted in large clouds of contaminated dust billowing across the site.
Work was again stopped until arrangements were made for safe and proper removal of asbestos materials.
The court heard that although employees had been wearing disposable overalls and face masks, no other controls were in place so not enough was done to protect them from the risk of exposure. The dust would have still contaminated their clothes and there was no water on site to enable decontamination.
James Roger Carlton, also known as Roger Stephen Parry, of Meeting House Lane, South Leverton, pleaded guilty to single breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006, and 10 breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 – 12 charges in total – at an earlier hearing.
He was sentenced today (July 10) to eight months is prison, suspended for two years, for the breach of the Prohibition notice. He was also fined £55,000 and ordered to pay a further £45,000 in costs.