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    CLIENT AND SURVEYOR FINED OVER ASBESTOS SURVEY

    Refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey proved inadequate

    A property management consultancy and an asbestos surveying company have been fined after an inadequate refurbishment and demolition survey was provided for a major refurbishment project which included partial demolition work.

    Dudley Magistrates heard how the survey failed to identify asbestos cement and asbestos insulating board (AIB) containing chrysotile and amosite asbestos.

    HSE investigators found that the person carrying out the survey had no training in asbestos surveying or previous work experience with a suitably qualified person or accredited organisation.

    Failed to check skills, knowledge and experience

    High level box work and asbestos cement panel to the underside of the brickwork column. 130m2 of similar high level boxing and 20m2 asbestos cement fillet panels located at the columns.

    The survey incorrectly advised that a non-licensed contractor could be engaged to remove the large quantity of AIB identified. The client failed to asked for any information from the surveying company which would demonstrate their skills, knowledge, experience and training relating to asbestos surveying.

    • Vital Property Solutions Limited – of Desborough Street, High Wycombe pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company has been fined £8,400 and ordered to pay costs of £929.67.
    • Home Inspectors Southern Limited – of Hawthorn Close, Brighton pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company has been fined £4,800 and ordered to pay costs of £929.67.

    Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Edward Fryer said:

    “Asbestos surveyors have a duty of care to those persons who use the information they provide. The survey missed a significant amount of asbestos contaminated materials (ACM’s) thus increasing the risk to workers, who would be disturbing the fabric of the buildings during the refurbishment/demolition project.

    The risk arises from workers unknowingly working on ACM, and not taking effective precautions to prevent exposure and spread of asbestos fibres. Where surveyors fall well short of the standard then HSE will take robust action.”

     

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