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    BUILDER FINED FOR ILLEGAL ASBESTOS WORK

    Failure to identify asbestos and lack of license puts builder in court

    Dave Lee Limited of Somerset has been ordered to pay £1.5k in fines and prosecution costs after removing walls and doors containing asbestos without the required license in a school between July and August 2007.

    The company also failed to identify the presence of asbesos thereby exposing workers and school occupants to risk.

    HSE Inspector Sue Adsett said: “this case highlights the need to use licensed asbestos contractors, rather than general builders, when removing asbestos products, and the need to ensure that professional and competent project managers are in place to oversee the work. Just as importantly, this case also emphasises the need for the contractors themselves to ensure that they are appropriately licensed to carry out the work and that there are serious penalties for not doing so.”

    Comment: On the facts reported by HSE the fine in this case looks surprisingly low. The case was sentenced in the crown court and it must be presumed the judge consider both public interest factors and the ability to pay. However, the company now has a crminal record and a more significant penalty may be the difficulties that the conviction causes in securing future contracts, especially in schools.

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