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Vital Property Solutions Limited, a property management company, and Home Inspectors Southern Limited, an asbestos surveying company, have both been fined following an investigation by the HSE.
They have been accused of carrying out an inadequate refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey on a major refurbishment project that included part demolition.
The asbestos survey they carried out failed to identify asbestos cement and asbestos insulating board.
During the full investigation by the HSE, they discovered that the surveyor who performed the survey actually had no training in asbestos surveying whatsoever!
Nor had he had any previous work experience within the industry.
He indicated on the asbestos survey that a non-licensed contractor could remove the large quantity of AIB material, which is incorrect advice.
Vital Property Solutions Limited did not check that the asbestos surveying company held all the correct credentials and required experience to carry out the refurbishment and demolition survey.
Dudley Magistrates Court fined Vital Property Solutions Ltd of High Wycombe £8,400 after they pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
They were also ordered to pay costs of £929.67.
The court fined Home Inspectors Southern Limited of Brighton £4,800 after they pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Again, they had to pay additional costs of £929.67.
Edward Fryer, HSE Inspector, said after the hearing, “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 fibers. Where surveyors fall well short of the standard then HSE will take robust action.”
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