Two property companies have recently been fined after it was revealed they disturbed asbestos during refurbishment works to a property.
Two employees of 24-Hour Maintenance Services Limited are reported to have disturbed asbestos insulating board (AIB) whilst carrying out refurbishment works at what used to be a commercial building that was being converted into news flats, in Romford, London.
Following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which took place between mid-July 2014 and 11 August 2014, it was discovered that the client hadn’t notified the contractor about the presence of asbestos in the building, despite them already knowing.
It was revealed that no refurbishment and demolition survey was carried out at the premises in order to to determine whether or not there was the presence of asbestos on site. The two employees of the maintenance company stripped out the AIB without taking any precautions and as a result they received significant exposure to asbestos fibres.
Companies plead guilty to negligence
Any building built before the year 2000 will more than likely contain asbestos and a refurbishment/demolition asbestos survey is required if there is an intention or requirement to do any upgrading, refurbishment or demolition.
Firestone Estates Limited, of Tolpits Lane, Watford, Hertfordshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 10(1)(b) of the CDM (Construction, Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and were subsequently fined £10,000. They were also ordered to pay £1020.64 in costs with a £1,000 victim surcharge.
24-Hour Maintenance Services Limited, of Linton Avenue, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. They were fined £5,000 and had to pay an extra£974.44 in costs plus a victim surcharge of £500.
Duty holders and employers have a legal responsibility to manage asbestos in their building so as not to put employees at risk. Contact our Armco office for asbestos management and refurbishment/ demolition surveys on 0161 763 3727 or by visiting http://www.armco.org.uk/.