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    DIRECTOR FINED OVER ASBESTOS MISMANAGEMENT

    Members of the public removed debris from demolition work

    James Hannaway, aged 68, and sole director of The Alpha Cinema (St Albans) Limited has been prosecuted after he allowed refurbishment of the derelict multi screen cinema to begin in 2010 without proper checks for asbestos.

    Stevenage Magistrates heard that in April 2012 Mr Hannaway also engaged around 30 members of the public to remove the debris from the demolition work over the course of two days.

    An asbestos survey carried out in early October 2012 identified asbestos in the building (after the debris removal), and recommended that no-one entered the affected areas. However, the court was told Hannaway was seen taking people into the building to view the ongoing work.

    Asbestos had been previously identified in a survey of the building carried out before it was purchased. However, it is not known whether or not asbestos materials were actually disturbed during the refurbishment.

    HSE said that if asbestos disturbance did occur, it is likely that some workers and members of the public would have been exposed to asbestos fibres.

    Failure to carry out required pre-refurb asbestos checks

    James Hannaway of Waterside, Berkhampstead, Hertfordshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and to breaching Regulation 5 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and Regulation 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

    Mr Hannaway was fined £11,660 and ordered to pay £7,000 in costs.

    HSE Inspector Paul Hoskins stated:

    “HSE takes these potential disturbances very seriously. This is another example of a company failing to carry out the required asbestos checks before refurbishment work starts. A survey is required to ensure asbestos is identified and removed to prevent inadvertent disturbance.”

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