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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT FIRM FACE ASBESTOS FINE

Company failed to conduct asbestos survey and properly plan removal work 

MA Estates Limited, a property management company from Halifax, has been fined £30k after admitting a series of offences which led to workers being exposed to asbestos fibres. 

As the owners and landlord of a factory the firm was prosecuted by HSE for failing to properly survey and manage the removal of asbestos-containing materials when employees were replacing a roof at the factory in June 2007.

Red beams stripped of asbestos

Halifax Magistrates heard that up to 15 employees from two businesses (both part of the same group as MA Estates) were working to upgrade the roof. This included stripping materials from support beams which were subsequently found to contain asbestos in limpet/spray form.

Complaint to HSE prompted investigation

A local business complained to HSE after seeing stripped materials and suspecting they contained asbestos fibres. HSE visited the premises and served a Prohibition Notice on MA Estates to stop work immediately.

Investigators found the company failed to carry out an asbestos survey or risk assessment, had no licence to remove asbestos. The staff undertaking the work has received no instruction or training and were exposed to ACMs with no attempt to limit exposure or spread of asbestos.

ACMs left outside premises

HSE inspector, Rachel Brittain, said:

“The dangers of asbestos should never be underestimated and are well known in the property industry and beyond. For a company to put workers at this level of risk shows a total disregard for their safety and welfare.

I can’t stress enough how important it is for anyone carrying out building work to obtain the proper asbestos surveys and then act upon them.”

MA Estates Limited pleaded guilty to seven charges under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was also ordered to pay £2,475.40p in costs.

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