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    MAJOR RETAILER FACES ASBESTOS CHARGES

    M&S and four contractors prosecuted for refurb asbestos exposure

     

    HSE has initiated legal proceedings against Marks and Spencer plc and four other companies for asbestos-related breaches during refurbishment works at three stores.

    The alleged offences occurred during work at stores in Reading, Bournemouth and Plymouth where it is alleged that the companies failed to ensure that staff and members of the public were not exposed to risks from asbestos-containing materials.

    At Bournemouth Magistrates Court, on 12 January 2010, Marks and Spencer plc pleaded not guilty to three informations laid under HSW Act Sections 2 and 3 relating to their own staff, members of the public and other workers.

    Other defendants are:

    Styles and Wood Ltd – pleaded guilty to HSW Act contraventions relating to offences committed between April and November 2006 at an M&S store in Reading. The company will be sentenced at Crown Court at a later date.

    Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd – entered no plea to allegations of contravening HSW Act Sections 2 and 3 between February and July 2007 at the M&S store in Bournemouth.

    PA Realisations Ltd (formally Pectel Ltd)  – faces allegations of contravening the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 between April and November 2006 at the M&S Reading store. The company was not represented in court.

    A committal hearing date has been set for Tuesday 9 February 2010 at Bournemouth Magistrates’ Court.

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