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PRISON TERM FOR UNLICENSED ASBESTOS REMOVAL

Contractor lacked license and failed to take basic asbestos precautions

Bramley Asbestos Removals (Clive Raper T/A) has received a suspended prison sentence after a household and workers were exposed to asbestos fibres at a home in Leeds in July 2011.

Clive Raper, aged 49, contracted to remove asbestos insulating board (AIB) from a residential the garage when he did not hold the legal licence required to carry out such work with asbestos.

Leeds Magistrates heard (20 March) Mr Raper accepted the work “knowing full well” that he did not hold the necessary licence and he engaged labourers to assist him with the work.

Mr Raper failed to use any of the standard control measures required of licensed operators e.g. protective enclosure, full-face respiratory equipment, negative pressure units and specialist vacuums.

Asbestos debris and residue was generated thereby compounding risk to the homeowners.

Profit put ahead of health and well-being

Clive Raper, trading as Bramley Asbestos Removals, of Leeds was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay a contribution of £260 toward costs after admitting a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and a separate breach of the Control of Asbestos Regulations.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Paul Yeadon said:

“It is appalling that a trader who is fully familiar with the restrictions governing asbestos wilfully ignores them and puts a household and the workers he has hired in danger.

It would appear that he has put profit ahead of the health and well-being of others, and in this case quite bafflingly, he put his own health at risk as well.

We were unable to identify the two workers involved as Mr Raper could not provide their full names or contact details. We do think, however, that they were probably both exposed to asbestos fibres above the action level.

This kind of work must be carried out by competent people with the necessary licence to do so.”

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