Two asbestos surveyors have been fined after they failed to identify asbestos in 32 different locations whilst undertaking a pre-refurbishment survey of a public house in Trafford, Manchester.
David Harold and Shaun Hodgson were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) appeared in court after construction workers were exposed to asbestos fibres during the refurbishment of the former Sale Hotel on Marsland Road in Sale.
Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard that the surveyors were hired to carry out a full Refurbishment and Demolition asbestos survey at the disused pub ahead of a major refurbishment project to restore it for use. The survey report was produced following a visit to the site on 31st May 2011 which was used by the principal contractor to identify which areas were safe to refurbish and those which required a licensed company to remove asbestos prior to the commencement of works.
The HSE reported that the surveyors had failed to identify large amounts of asbestos in the basement. As a result, workers thought this area was safe and carried out refurbishment work, installed pipes and fitted cabling and were, through no fault of their own, exposed to potentially deadly asbestos fibres.
One of the workers raised concerns when they came across asbestos containing materials and the project was immediately stopped. A specialist firm was commissioned to carry out a re-survey of the basement area and large amount of asbestos insulation material was identified. Furthermore, this material was not hidden and should have been easily spotted by the surveyors.
David Harold, of Balmoral Drive in Beverley, East Yorkshire, and Shaun Hodgson, of Sherbourne Cottages in Newton upon Derwent, York, each pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 after they put the health of workers at risk. They were each ordered to carry out 40 hours of community service in the next year and to each pay £1,500 towards the cost of the prosecution.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Matt Greenly said: “Asbestos consultants and surveyors perform a vitally important role in the construction industry and are relied on to keep workers safe”.
This case illustrates the need for fully qualified and time-served, experienced professional surveyors to undertake such legally required surveys. The surveys are used to plan refurbishment and demolition works and it is a huge responsibly for surveyors to ensure that ALL asbestos containing materials are identified. It is literally a case of life and death.
Here at Armco, our surveyors have over 20 years experience in the undertaking the all types of asbestos surveys and you can commission us to implement our services safe in the knowledge that we are fully qualified and experienced in identifying all asbestos containing materials no matter of the location.
We have been employed by small and large companies, local governments and domestic owners to implement surveys on all types of buildings of any size including domestic houses/flats/apartments, communal areas of rented properties, retail shops/units, food related premises, mills, warehouses, education establishments, entertainment premises such as public houses, places of worship, hospitals, sporting premises and, power and sub-stations.
We are fully qualified and insured, we are accredited to ISO:9001, CHAS, Construction Online and the British Occupational Hygiene Society. We offer consultancy and advice, surveying, asbestos related training and all types of removals and remedial works.
Published Jan 02, 2013