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Asbestos Contractor fined after demolishing an Asbestos Filled Building

Asbestos Survey First!

Recently a building contractor has been heavily fined for demolishing a building without first carrying out the required asbestos survey.

The contractor in question was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the Magistrates Court for breaching the Control of Asbestos Regulations.

The magistrates were told that he had been employed to conduct the demolition of a house, before groundworks were to be laid for a new property.

Asbestos Management Survey.

He was given a recent Asbestos Management Survey of one area of the house that had been carried out for the previous owner. The survey had been ordered following a plumber refusing to repair a boiler due because he had noticed the presence of asbestos.

The survey highlighted that there were 12 metres of asbestos in very poor condition with two of three areas classed as high risk. The survey went on to state: 'This material is in a rather poor condition and debris exists around the boiler and on the floor within the rest of the room. The room in question must not be entered until a full environmental clean and removal of all asbestos containing materials have been carried out by a licensed asbestos contractor.'

The report also stated that the removal had to be undertaken in a controlled manner with the use of 'enclosures, airlocks, negative pressure units and sufficient decontamination units.'

Take Heed of Asbestos Surveys.

Even though all this information was present, the contractor still went ahead and demolished the property without having a pre demolition survey carried out on the entire property to ensure that all asbestos had been identified and removed from site.

The HSE began an investigation after a scientific officer from the local Borough Council visited the site and raised some concerns about the possibility of asbestos contamination.

The contractor pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 5 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006. He was then fined 5,000 and ordered to pay court costs of 7,500.

What the Health and Safety Executive have to say about Asbestos.

After the court hearing, a HSE inspector said: "Before any demolition work is undertaken on site a survey must be carried out to identify any asbestos present and prevent exposure to anyone working on the site. This also applies to those who subsequently process any asbestos or asbestos containing waste materials. Any asbestos present, must be removed in the correct manner.

The HSE inspector went on to say "Asbestos is the single greatest cause of work related deaths in the United Kingdom and the dangers are well known in the construction and property industries.

"Asbestos is a current health threat and it faces tradesmen all the time. This man has risked his own health and the health of other people who were on the site at the time."

It should be noted that around 4,000 people die every year as a result of breathing in asbestos fibres, this makes asbestos the biggest single cause of work related death in the United Kingdom.

Further Information

If you would like to know more or are interested in a quote we would be happy to help. Phone us on 07730 446 224, email us at info@survey-safe.com or fill in our enquiry form and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

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