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TRADESMAN PROSECUTED OVER PREMATURE ASBESTOS WORK

Carpenter proceeded to remove AIB partition based on erroneous assumption

William Rogers, a carpenter and general handyman, has been fined after he removed partition walls containing asbestos insulating board (AIB) at premises in Olton in January 2011.

Solihull Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr Rogers had wrongly assumed he was dealing with asbestos cement (which does not require specialist contractors to remove it) and went ahead with the work potentially exposing himself and a tenant to asbestos dust.

Mr Rogers spread asbestos debris in the kitchen and on the communal stairs and loaded the AIB into his car. A licensed asbestos removal contractor, who was working elsewhere in the building, spotted pieces of asbestos outside and alerted HSE. The area and Mr Rogers’ car had to be decontaminated.

No work without training and checking

William Rogers, of Yardley, pleaded guilty today to breaching Regulation 5 and Regulation 11(1)(a) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006. He was fined £600 and ordered to pay £1,799 costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE principal inspector Jo Anderson said:

“Tradespeople are highly likely to come across asbestos at some point in their career. They must make sure they are properly trained so that they can identify it and know what to do next and there is a wealth of guidance available on HSE’s website to help them. If they have not checked what kind of asbestos is present and they have not been trained to work with asbestos, they must not start work.

The landlord had told William Rogers that the walls contained asbestos, yet he went ahead with the refurbishment without carrying out any checks. The tenant now has to live with the knowledge that he is at risk of developing a serious lung disease in years to come through no fault of his own.

It is against the law for anyone to remove asbestos insulating board without a licence. Mr Rogers should never have disturbed this material, and he left a significant amount of asbestos debris in the building. It is fortunate that a licensed contractor alerted us to the incident on the day and as a result the contamination was dealt with promptly.”

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    […] TRADESMAN PROSECUTED OVER PREMATURE ASBESTOS WORK If they have not checked what kind of asbestos is present and they have not been trained to work with asbestos, they must not start work. The landlord had told William Rogers that the walls contained asbestos, yet he went ahead with the refurbishment … Read more on Construction Health and Safety News […]