Construction Health and Safety Consultancy and CDM Adviser Services

Illegal Asbestos Removal Unacceptable
Posted by David Cant on November 21, 2012

A demolition company based in Cheltenham have been fined after exposing workers to asbestos fibres. DA Environmental Services were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive after they were found to be removing asbestos illegally from a Gloucestershire property. They pleaded guilty at Cheltenham Magistrates Court on 5th November 2012.

The company did undertake an asbestos survey before they began demolishing the building. The survey made the company aware that there was Asbestos Insulating Board within the property. It also stated that this AIB would need to be safely removed before any demolition could take place. Despite having this information, DA Environmental Services went ahead and demolished the building with the asbestos still inside over a six week period; thus exposing the workers to the deadly fibres that are a known killer.

Breaches Resulted in £15,000 Fine

The HSE discovered that the firm did not hold the right license that is required by anyone removing asbestos. They also had failed to prevent workers from being exposed and didn’t take steps to stop the spread of the fibres that were released through the demolishing of the building.  Furthermore, the company did not handle or dispose of the asbestos correctly and this increased the level of exposure and the risk of having asbestos spread in the waste chain.

As a result of the investigation the company were found to be in breach of three sections of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006.  They were fined £15,000 with court costs equalling £1,452 added.

Licensed Contractors Should Have Been Hired

Andrew Kingscott, an inspector for the HSE, stated that only fully licensed contractors should remove Asbestos Insulating Board. That contractor must conduct the removal in a safe manner and have control measures in place to reduce the risk of exposure. DA Environmental Services should have contracted an appropriate firm to come and remove the materials in the building rather than putting the lives of its own employees at risk.

There are many people in the UK that are suffering from the often fatal illnesses that have been caused by exposure to asbestos. Sadly many of them have been exposed during work they did within the construction industry. Asbestos is the biggest cause of work related deaths and therefore all companies need to make sure they take the right steps in order to help save the lives of those working for them.

Health and Safety consultants are able to help you to meet the Control of Asbestos Regulations. The first thing to do when undertaking demolition or maintenance work is to carry out an asbestos survey. The survey will indicate what type of asbestos is present and how it will need to be treated or removed before work commences.  The consultants will also be able to give you advice on the steps to take to further ensure that you are working in a manner that will not be putting the lives of your employees in danger.

If you would like to discuss the asbestos surveys or any other health and safety services call us on 0800 1488 677 today.



David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

This post has been filed in: Asbestos Surveys, Health and Safety, Health and Safety Consultancy, Health and Safety Regulations, Workplace Health and Safety, Workplace Safety

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