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Serious breach in removal of asbestos

04 February 2019

A CONSTRUCTION company has been fined for serious safety failings with regards to the management of asbestos at a site located at Finchley Road, London.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how, in February 2018, Protostar Construction Ltd (PCL) commissioned an asbestos survey which identified a significant amount of asbestos at the site and provided detailed instructions on how it should be dealt with. PCL invited the survey company to attend site to quote for the asbestos removal and when the surveyor arrived, they discovered that PCL, and not a licensed asbestos removal company, had removed the asbestos themselves – putting all those who visited the site at risk.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had removed a significant amount of asbestos whilst refurbishing a house without taking the necessary precautions to prevent its spread. The uncontrolled removal put at risk all persons who visited the site as well as the persons working on the site.

Protostar Construction Limited of Crawford Street, London pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and has been fined £14,000 and ordered to pay £3,672.88 in costs.

This prosecution comes at a time when HSE inspectors are currently out visiting construction sites across the London area to see if companies are effectively managing the risks associated with asbestos.

Speaking after the hearing, inspector Ian Shearring said: “This sentencing serves as a timely reminder for construction companies that a failure to effectively manage asbestos can and will lead to enforcement action.

“Inspectors like myself are currently visiting sites right across London for evidence of companies knowing the risks associated with asbestos, planning their work and using the right controls. We want to see all construction workers, and members of the public, protected from the risks of exposure to asbestos.

“All workers must be protected and not made ill or killed by their work. Everyone should be able to leave work and go home healthy to their families.”