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Demolition firm fined for illegal asbestos removal

Posted in: asbestos Employer Negligence 

A Cheltenham demolition company has been prosecuted after exposing its own workers to dangerous asbestos fibres and illegally removing asbestos waste from a property in Gloucester.

The court heard the firm undertook an asbestos survey before demolishing the building showing it contained a quantity of Asbestos Insulating Board (AIB). The report identified that this would have to be safely removed in a controlled manner before demolition went ahead.

However, during a six-week period in August and September 2011, the building was demolished and asbestos boarding removed by the firm’s employees, exposing them to potentially significant quantities of asbestos fibres released during the work.

The company did not hold the necessary licence to carry out the asbestos removal and failed to take adequate steps to prevent both exposure to and the spread of asbestos fibres generated by the work. The investigation also found the asbestos debris was not disposed of correctly, potentially extending the risk of exposure and spread of danger into the waste chain.

Speaking after the prosecution, HSE Inspector Andrew Kingscott said:

“Unfortunately, those working in the construction industry are regularly exposed to asbestos materials and the legacy of past exposures is evident in the high numbers of people in the UK who are suffering the fatal effects of uncontrolled exposures to asbestos fibres during their working lives.”

According to HSE figures, over 3000 people a year die from asbestos related illnesses in the UK.


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