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CONTRACTOR FAILED TO ACT ON CLIENT ASBESTOS SURVEY

Demolition proceeded despite survey revealing presence of asbestos tiles

IBT Contracting Ltd has been prosecuted after demolishing a building containing hundreds of asbestos ceiling tiles thereby putting the lives of workers and local residents at risk.

The company carried out the work with asbesos containing materials at a former photography factory in near Kendal during August and September 2011 despite not holding a licence to remove asbestos.

Kendal Magistrates’ Court heard that the owners of the site had provided a survey ahead of the work taking place which stated that the building contained 166 square metres of asbestos ceiling tiles. However, the company failed to arrange for a licensed contractor to remove the tiles safely.

Lives of workers put at danger by cutting corners

Contracting pleaded guilty to three breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006, for removing asbestos without a licence, exposing workers to asbestos fibres, and allowing the fibres to spread to neighbouring areas. The company from Barton near Preston was fined £10,800 and ordered to pay £3,638.95 in prosecution costs.

HSE investigator Allen Shute said:

“This company put the lives of workers in danger by cutting corners, and not using a licensed contractor to safely remove the asbestos ceiling tiles.

Several houses back onto the site of the factory so local residents were also put at risk, although luckily the level of their exposure to asbestos fibres is likely to have been relatively low.

However, the workers on the site will now have to live with the knowledge that they may develop a deadly asbestos-related disease in the years to come because of the actions of IBT Contracting.”

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