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CLIENT LET DOWN BY INADEQUATE ASBESTOS SURVEY

Demolition workers discover asbestos which survey should have detected 

PHH Environmental (UK) Ltd has been fined for putting the health of demolition workers at risk after a building survey failed to identify the presence of asbestos.

An asbestos survey was commissioned between 15 and 25 January 2010 on an about to be demolished cinema in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. The client relied on the survey which was provided to a demolition contractor. However, when demolition was underway workers discovered asbestos and found they had disturbed it.

Refurb surveys must be comprehensive and intrusive

PHH Environmental (UK) Limited, of Cardiff, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was today fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,000.

HSE inspector Steve Richardson investigated the case. He said:

“Anyone carrying out refurbishment or demolition work relies upon accurate asbestos surveys to reduce the risk of them being exposed to deadly asbestos fibres.

It is essential that those surveys are comprehensive, intrusive and undertaken by competent persons – if not lives are needlessly put at risk.”

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