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PROPERTY OWNER IGNORED ASBESTOS RISK

Businessman fined after allowing spread of asbestos in building

A court has heard how a businessman allowed the spread of asbestos in an industrial building by not employing licensed contractors to remove asbestos containing materials. Peter Rees, owner of a business unit in Mochdre, was selling the building to another business when the incident happened in September 2012.

Llandudno Magistrate heard how HSE identified clear failings with his management of the material. The company purchasing the unit commissioned an asbestos survey which showed the presence of a large amount of asbestos insulating board (AIB).

However, Peter Rees failed to employ a qualified and licensed asbestos removal contractor engaged a general contractor, which resulted in asbestos dust being spread inside the building. A complaint was raised by a licensed contractor and a significant clean-up operation was required.

Failed to use a qualified and licensed company

Peter Rees, of York Road, Deganwy, was fined £8,000 ordered to pay £7,400 in costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

HSE Inspector, Chris Wilcox, speaking after the hearing, said:

“The potentially lethal effects of exposure to asbestos are well known.

Mr Rees’ failure to use a qualified and licensed company to remove the asbestos led to contamination inside the building. Fortunately, HSE was made aware of the incident before it was reoccupied by the new owners.

Anyone who owns or has control of non-domestic premises has a legal duty to manage the risk of asbestos in their buildings. When asbestos is removed, it must be done by someone who is trained and competent to do the work.”

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