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CLIENT AND CONTRACTOR FINED OVER ASBESTOS ERRORS

Post-fire refurbishment project not subject to required asbestos survey

A Norfolk company and a contractor from Manchester have been prosecuted after failing to manage asbestos removal work at a renovation project. Contractor Mohammed Zahid was employed in May 2009 by client Azam Bros Ltd of Hunstanton to clear damage caused by a fire at two commercial units they owned in Great Yarmouth.

Complaints were received by the local council concerning dust released from an uncovered skip outside the premises. The council issued a Prohibition Notice to stop work and asbestos was later found to be present. 

Norwich Magistrates heard that Mr Zahid failed to order an asbestos survey before starting renovation work. He had not received training in asbestos removal and did not possess the required licence.

Client failed to consider asbestos despite ‘warning’

Mohammed Zahid, 33, from Wilbraham Road in Manchester, was fined £1,000 after admitting breaching regulations 5, 8(2), 10 and 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and ordered to pay costs of £500.

Azam Bros Ltd were fined £2,500 for breaching Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and ordered to pay costs of £2,500.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Peter Nickerson said:

“Before anyone undertakes any construction work they must consider whether asbestos may be present and take the precautionary steps such as carrying out an asbestos survey.

Most work with asbestos requires a licensed contractor to remove it safely and responsibly. Azam Bros Ltd did not think about the risks they may have exposed the public to by employing Mr Zahid and trying to cut corners.”

Azam Bros Ltd obtained three estimates to renovate the units before employing Mr Zahid. One of the quotes highlighted what work may be needed if asbestos was identified but this did not prompt the company to take any action.”

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