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BUILDER FAILED TO PREVENT ASBESTOS EXPOSURE

AIB boarding broken up and left on driveway of househoulder client 

Sharpe Builders (Nicholas Sharpe T/A) of Birmingham has been prosecuted after asbestos insulation board (AIB) was removed and broke up during building works on a domestic property in Castle Bromwich.

Solihull Magistrates heard (4 February) that HSE inspectors visited the property in July 2012 following a call from the local Environmental Health Officer concerning possible unlicensed asbestos removal work.

HSE investigators found that the during conversion a garage into a living room AIB from the ceiling was broke up and the uncovered panels left on the householder’s driveway. 

Inspectors found the absence of: an asbestos survey of the building; a plan for the work with asbestos; information to the householders; and the necessary licence to work with AIB. The company failed to take adequate steps to prevent both the exposure to and spread of asbestos fibres generated by the work.

Construction industry workers “regularly exposed to asbestos”

Nicholas Sharpe, of Rover Drive, Castle Bromwich, pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. Mr Sharpe was fined a total of £4,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,100.

Speaking after the prosecution, HSE Inspector Paul Cooper said:

“Asbestos fibres are a well known and widely publicised potential health risk. The type of work being undertaken at Rover Drive should only be carried out by a contractor who holds the necessary licence, in a safe manner and with the necessary control measures.

By carrying out this work in such a careless way, Mr Sharpe exposed himself and others to potentially harmful airborne asbestos fibres. He also demonstrated a complete disregard for the law.

Unfortunately, those working in the construction industry are regularly exposed to asbestos. The legacy of past exposure is evident in the high numbers of people in the UK who are suffering from asbestos-related diseases which can sometimes be fatal. The current laws exist to protect future generations from this fate.”

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