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    HOUSEHOLDER EXPOSED TO ASBESTOS RISK

    Builder removed AIB during garage conversion in unsafe manner

    A building contractor has appeared in court after exposing a homeowner and her family to asbestos while carrying out a garage conversion.

    Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard that Winstanley Construction (Anthony McGrath T/A) carried out the asbestos removal work during although he was not licenced to do so and failed to carry out work in a safe manner causing asbestos contamination in the home.

    The HSE investigation incident found that Asbestos Insulating Board (AIB) ceiling panels were removed from the garage, broken up, and deposited in the garden for several days.  The householder was told the material contained asbestos and that it was “safe” and would be “removed soon”.

    Home evacuated during clean up

    The householder contacted a licensed asbestos removal contractor who confirmed AIB which should be removed under controlled conditions.  Asbestos contamination was found in several areas of the house and the householder was unable to re-enter the house for more than a week while a clean-up operation costing in excess of £12,000 was carried out.

    • Winstanley Construction (Anthony McGrath T/A) – of Billinge, Wigan pleaded guilty to breaches of Regulation 10 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and Regulation 8 (1) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. He was fined £475 for each breach and ordered to pay a compensation order of £7,500.

    Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector David Norton said:

    “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.

    Companies and individuals should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards”.

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