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    ASBESTOS REMOVED WITHOUT LICENSE

    Company director fined for ignoring survey results and advice

    Roger Lee Lavender, managing director of Secal Laser Ltd, has been ordered to pay over £17k in fines and prosecution costs after work with asbestos was undertaken without using a licensed contractor. Surveys conducted in 2004 and 2007 stated that removal of the asbestos from the factory should to be carried out by a licensed asbestos company.

    Mr Lavender admitted knowledge of the 2004 survey yet authorised the unlicensed removal of the identified asbestos and instructed his own employees to carry out the work. The way in which the work was undertaken exposed his employees to the risk of inhaling asbestos fibres.

    HSE inspector Guy Dale said the:”survey made it clear that any removal of the material was dangerous and must be carried out by licensed specialists. However, Mr Lavender allowed his employees to be exposed to the serious risk of inhaling a ‘Class 1 carcinogen’ that can cause mesothelioma and lung cancer.”

    Comment: Asbestos presents a real and relevant risk to plumbers, joiners, electricians and many other maintenance workers. Asbestos may be present in any building constructed or refurbished before the year 2000. It is estimated that around 500,000 non-domestic buildings could contain asbestos. These buildings all need repair and maintenance work from time to time and when the asbestos fibres are disturbed e.g. by drilling or cutting, they are likely to be inhaled.

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