A Wiltshire based asbestos company, Sarum Asbestos Ltd, have been fined after unsafe asbestos removal.
At a court hearing, it was heard that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) had received a concern from an employee of a construction company on 8 March 2013.
The construction company had been hired to demolish the Forresters Respite Centre in Hythe.
Before any demolition work could start on site, Sarum Asbestos Limited were hired to conduct an asbestos survey.
They were then supposed to arrange for the removal of any identified asbestos material.
However, following the tip off from the concerned employee from the construction firm, the HSE conducted their own investigation.
The HSE discovered that Sarum Asbestos Ltd had undertaken similar work in various locations and had failed to make sure that asbestos was removed in a safe manner by trained operatives.
Sarum Asbestos also failed to conduct further asbestos testing on these sites once removal had been undertaken.
In doing so, they failed to ensure that the asbestos had been safely removed, therefore putting workers and members of the public at risk of asbestos exposure.
The company Director, Jeremy Uphill, was also found guilty of ignoring legal requirements for the licensed removal of asbestos containing material.
Subsequently, Sarum Asbestos Limited pleaded guilty to six charges as follows:-
The company were fined a total of £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £31,000 for unsafe asbestos removal.
Company Director, Jeremy Uphill, also pleaded guilty to the same six charges of unsafe asbestos removal.
She was given a total of six months imprisonment suspended for two years.
After the hearing, Adam Wycherley, HSE inspector said, “Both the company and Director have failed to protect their workers and members of the public on a number of occasions, and as a result placed them at risk of exposure to asbestos fibers.”
“Work with the material the company identified should have been subcontracted to a qualified Licensed asbestos removal company.”
“Around 3000 people a year die from asbestos related disease and it is a well-known risk within the construction industry, there is no excuse for putting people at risk when the hazards can be controlled with careful management during work with asbestos containing materials.”
Duty holders and employers have a legal responsibility to manage asbestos in their building so as not to put employees at risk. Contact our Armco office for asbestos management and refurbishment/ demolition surveys on 0161 763 3727 or by visiting https://www.armco.org.uk/
Alternatively, for all your asbestos training needs call 0161 761 4424 or visit https://www.armcoasbestostraining.co.uk/ for more information or to book a training course.