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CDM CLIENT PROSECUTED OVER MISSING INFORMATION

Failure to provide pre-construction information put workers at risk

Construction work client North Devon Homes Ltd has been prosecuted after workers carrying out extensive boiler renovations on houses in Ilfracombe were exposed to asbestos because of failure to provide the Pre-construction Information required by CDM Regulations 2007. The contractor was also prosecuted.

In September 2013 Pilkington Plumbing and Heating Ltd carried out removal of a back boiler and drilling of a wall panel at a house without first having received an asbestos survey from the CDM 2007 client, North Devon Homes.

Barnstaple Magistrates heard (19 Jan) that Pilkington requested asbestos survey information on the properties but decided to go ahead without having carried out a sufficient assessment of work liable to disturb asbestos.

The contractor relied on information about asbestos on North Devon Homes website for contractors. However, this was not specific to each property and was incomplete or misleading. Asbestos insulation board (AIB) was disturbed and the workers exposed to asbestos during the work.

Risk from asbestos in housing stock well-known

North Devon Homes Ltd, of Barnstable,  pleaded guilty to a breach of Construction (Design Management) Regulations and was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £650.

Regulation 10(1)(b) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 states: “Every client shall ensure that every contractor who has been or may be appointed by the client is promptly provided with pre-construction information in accordance with paragraph (2).”

Pilkington Plumbing and Heating Ltd, of Barnstaple pleaded guilty to two breaches of Control of Asbestos Regulations at an earlier hearing before the same court (on 8 October) and was fined £1,500 with £642 costs.

HSE Inspector Barry Trudgian, speaking after the hearing, said:

“As a result of North Devon Homes’ failure to provide the required information and Pilkington not waiting for the asbestos details before starting work, two workers have been needlessly exposed to asbestos.

The risks associated with asbestos in housing stock are well-known and the regulations governing its removal are long-standing. This incident could have been avoided if Pilkington had carried out a suitable and sufficient assessment of the work liable to disturb asbestos.”

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