Demolition contractor fined for unlicensed asbestos removal
A Portsmouth-based demolition contractor has been prosecuted after carrying out unlicensed asbestos removal work at a site in Hampshire.
James Site Services Ltd, of Spur Road, Cosham, Hampshire, stripped out 54 metres of asbestos insulating board from a bungalow ahead of a planned refurbishment.
The company did not hold the required licence to remove asbestos containing materials and undertook the work despite having commissioned an asbestos survey, which identified the presence of the material and advised it to use a licensed contractor.
The offence was discovered during a routine inspection by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which decided to prosecute.
At a hearing at Portsmouth Magistrates Court on March 31st 2014, James Site Services Ltd pleaded guilty to a breach of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and was fined £500 and ordered to pay £1,000 in costs.
HSE inspector Dominic Goacher was highly critical of the company and accused it of failing to protect its workers from possible exposure to potentially deadly asbestos fibres.
He said: “HSE operates a highly-regulated licence regime in order to ensure work with asbestos is carried out safely by a skilled, competent workforce.
“By taking the work on, James Site Services not only put their workers at risk but also gained an unfair financial advantage over those contractors subject to this regime and who invest considerable time and money to achieve licensed status.”
Mr Goacher added that it was vital companies in the demolition and refurbishment sectors obtained asbestos surveys for every site and acted on their findings.