Asbestos tape accross plastic containment area.

Two companies have been fined after asbestos was disturbed during refurbishment work.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how two employees of 24-Hour Maintenance Services Limited disturbed asbestos insulating board (AIB) whilst they were doing refurbishment work at a former commercial premises undergoing conversion into flats, in Romford, London.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred between mid-July 2014 and 11 August 2014 found that the client had not passed on the details of the presence of asbestos to the contractor, despite prior knowledge.

No refurbishment and demolition survey was conducted to determine the presence of asbestos on the site. The two workers stripped out the AIB without any effective precautions and therefore received significant exposure to asbestos fibres.

Firestone Estates Limited, of Tolpits Lane, Watford, Hertfordshire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 10(1)(b) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and were fined £10,000 and were ordered to pay £1020.64 in costs with a £1,000 victim surcharge.

24-Hour Maintenance Services Limited, of Linton Avenue, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and were fined £5,000 with £974.44 in costs and a victim surcharge of £500.

Source: HSE

Carly Hoyle, Asbestos Consultant for Alcumus SM&MS says “Asbestos can be present in any building built before the year 2000. When the premises, or any part of it requires refurbishment or demolition, an asbestos survey is required in order to inspect all areas affected by the proposed works in an intrusive manner. This is to ensure that any asbestos containing materials (ACMs) that are concealed within parts of the building not usually accessed during an Asbestos Management Survey are identified. Following this, the ACMs can be removed prior to works commencing, or works may be altered in order to prevent disturbing ACMs where it can be avoided.”

For further information regarding asbestos related services, please contact us on 01484 452349.