An example has been set following huge fines for a building firm after they admitted exposing workers to asbestos.
Marden Homes Ltd based in Prince Avenue, Westcliff in Sea, were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) due to not arranging an asbestos survey and makings sure the project was safe for workers to conduct intended tasks.
Marden Homes Ltd was converting an office block into residential apartments which entailed removal of an internal boiler from a former plant room. During the removal workers disturbed pipe lagging, unbeknown to them contained asbestos fibers.
Marden Homes was fined £50,000 with costs of £1413 after pleading guilty at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court to three breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector David King said:
“Exposure to asbestos fibers is a serious and well known health risk, so it is essential that duty-holders take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent the disturbance, spread and exposure to asbestos.
“Guidance on managing the risks of asbestos is widely and freely available. Asbestos has been subject to regulations since 1931 and relevant to the construction industry since 1969.
“Therefore failing to take action to identify the location and type of asbestos present during planning of the work, not communicating that information to workers/contractors who may disturb the asbestos and then not taking appropriate measures to protect the health of those exposed is absolutely inexcusable.”