Wigan contractor sentenced after removing asbestos without a licence
A building contractor in Wigan has been sentenced after exposing a homeowner and her family to asbestos while carrying out a garage conversion.
Anthony McGrath, trading as Winstanley Construction, carried out asbestos removal work without a licence and failed to carry out the removal safely. This resulted in the ground floor of the home becoming contaminated by dangerous asbestos fibres.
When the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident, they found that McGrath had removed Asbestos Insulating Boards from the garage ceiling, broke them up and then left them in the garden for several days, telling the homeowner that they were safe and would be disposed of soon.
Asbestos was found in several parts of the house and the occupants were unable to re-enter their home for over a week while the area was cleaned. Because McGrath failed to remove the asbestos boards under controlled conditions, the clean up cost in excess of £12,000.
McGrath pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court to multiple breaches of Regulation 10 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and Regulation 8 (1) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. He was fined £475 for each breach and paid a compensation order of £7,500.
After the hearing, HSE inspector, David Norton said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices. Companies and individuals should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”
BLS Asbestos are a HSE licensed specialist in asbestos removal and disposal, covering the Greater Manchester area.