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CLIENTS & CONTRACTORS ASBESTOS ERROR FINES

Two cases where refurbishment / demolition survey lacking

Two prosecutions have been concluded where both client and their appointed building contractor have been fined over failures to commission a suitable asbestos survey

Prosecution Case 1 – A food company and a contractor have been fined after asbestos containing materials (ACMs) were disturbed during building work. The ACMs were identified “by chance” when an asbestos removal contractor attended site.

Stafford Crown Court heard that an asbestos survey had not  been carried although either company could have commissioned a refurbishment/demolition survey before the work commenced.

HSE investigators found that Mizkan Euro Ltd was undertaking a project to remove tanks from a factory which required the demolition of an external wall.

The company failed to provide an asbestos survey to enable contractor DH Welton to quote and plan appropriately for the work to be undertaken. Contractor DH Welton could have commissioned a survey when they discovered that Mizkan only had access to a ‘management’ survey for the building.

When the wall was demolished asbestos insulation board at the top of the wall was unknowingly broken up. A skip of demolition debris was found to contain asbestos insulation board, which had been identified by an asbestos contractor who had been called to site.

A licensed asbestos removal contractor should have been appointed to remove the asbestos under controlled conditions prior to the wall being demolished.

  • Mizkan Euro Ltd of Chiswick, London pleaded guilty to breaching sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act after failing to plan and manage the work carried out under their control without ensuring that risks to health and safety are prevented. It was fined £60,000 for each charge (£120k) and ordered to pay costs of £13,589.
  • D H Welton & Co Ltd of Manchester admitted breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act and regulation 5(1)(a) Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 after failing to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment as to whether asbestos was present or liable to be present during the removal of a wall It was fined £15,000 for each charge (£45k) plus costs of £4,529.

Prosecution Case 2 –  Charitable trust Williamson Trust was responsible for the running of a school academy where Mark Tucker was contracted to refurbish a building block.

Chatham Magistrates heard that in July 2012, knowing the trust had an asbestos register identifying where asbestos was located within the school, work was carried out by Mark Tucker to refurbish a building block.

However, the trust failed to complete a refurbishment and demolition survey, and the asbestos register was not checked as required by law.

  • The Williamson Trust of Rochester, Kent pleaded guilty to Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £18,000 and ordered to pay costs of £17,000.
  • Mark Tucker of Chatham, Kent pleaded guilty to Regulation 13(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, and was fined £9000 and ordered to pay costs of £8000.

 

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