Directors breach prohibition notice exposing workers to asbestos

Alsager Contractors Ltd prosecuted for exposing workers to asbestos

Three directors of a now liquidated waste management company have been prosecuted for potentially exposing workers to asbestos.

George Talbot and his sons, Anthony and Stephen, directors of Alsager Contractors Ltd, were sentenced following a joint two year investigation.

The HSE and the Environment Agency (EA) investigated the company’s working practices at two sites in Newcastle-Under-Lyme and one in Lancashire.

Investigators found evidence all three defendants knew of waste containing asbestos being kept or disposed of at one site in a manner likely to cause pollution or harm to human health from June 2011.

There was also evidence of waste containing asbestos being deposited in a trailer at the Lancashire site without an environmental permit from June 2011.

It was also found that George and Anthony Talbot knew of waste containing asbestos being deposited at one of the sites from February 2011.

In May 2012, HSE served a prohibition notice on the company to prohibit work on six ejector trailers that contained or were contaminated with asbestos.

However, in February 2013, it was identified by an Environment Agency officer that a door had been cut into a trailer to enable access to the asbestos waste.

This was in contravention of the notice that had been served.

Alsager Contractors company directors prosecuted for exposing workers to asbestos

Directors finally prosecuted in court

George Talbot and Anthony Talbot each pleaded guilty to breaching section 22 of the Health and Safety at work etc Act 1974.

George, Anthony and Stephen Talbot pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 33(1)C, 33(6) and 157(1) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and Regulations 12(1), 38(1) and 41(1)(a) of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.

Mr George Talbot was disqualified as a director for a period of seven years and given a total fine of £46.500.

Anthony Talbot was disqualified as a director for a period of four years and was given a total fine of £4,800.

Stephen Talbot was fined a total of £6,000.

The three defendants were also ordered to repay costs of £200,000 in total.

HSE Inspector, David Brassington said, “This was an appalling breach of a prohibition notice which potentially exposed workers to asbestos.”

“Companies should know HSE will not hesitate to take enforcement against those who flout the law.”

 

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Published Sep 17, 2018
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