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CLIENT FINED OVER MISSING CDM PRE-CONSTRUCTION INFORMATION

Contractor and client failure to arrange survey put refurb workers at risk  

Hutchinson HiFi & Vision Ltd and contractor Simon Cooper have been prosecuted after a construction worker was exposed to asbestos during a refurbishment project in February 2010. The work involved replacing a suspended ceiling.

Cheltenham Magistrate heard (27 July) that contractor Simon Cooper failed to ensure a proper asbestos survey was available before work began. The workers on site removed some 85m of asbestos insulating board over two days without the necessary controls or adequate protection.

Hutchinson HiFi and Vision Ltd failed to provide the required CDM 2007 pre-construction information regarding the presence of asbestos within the building. A demolition and refurbishment survey should have been undertaken and the results made available to the contractor.

Client should provided and contractor should have seen a survey

Hutchinson HiFi & Vision Ltd, of High Street, Cheltenham, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 10 (1) (b) of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007 and was fined £3,500 and ordered to pay £1,836 in costs.

Simon Cooper, of Leckhampton, Cheltenham, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and was fined £600 and ordered to pay £800 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Simon Chilcott, said:

“As a result of the failings of Simon Cooper and Hutchinson HiFi and Vision, people were unnecessarily exposed to asbestos. This incident could have been avoided if the retailer had provided information on the presence of asbestos in the building and Mr Cooper had ensured he had seen a demolition and refurbishment survey before commencing the renovation work.

The risks of asbestos are well known in the construction industry as are the controls required in dealing with it. Exposure to asbestos can have fatal or serious long term health consequences and, as such, every precaution must be taken to minimise any risks when working on buildings.”

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