HSE stresses importance of using licensed asbestos removal contractors

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Businesses have been reminded of the importance of appointing licensed contractors to undertake asbestos removal, after an unlicensed operator in Sussex was fined £15,000.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) decided to prosecute Asbestos Damage Limitations Ltd (trading as ADL), of Coleridge Street, Hove, after discovering it had removed asbestos insulation board from a property in Hove between 22nd and 25th October 2013.

ADL previously possessed a licence to remove asbestos, but it expired the previous month and its renewal application was rejected outright on 1st October due to HSE concerns about inadequate performance.

At a hearing at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on August 28th 2014, ADL admitted breaching Regulation 8(1) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £4,000 in costs.

HSE Inspector Denis Bodger said ADL had known its actions were illegal, but had carried on regardless.

“Work with asbestos requires a high degree of regulatory control. It involves working with a category one carcinogen, with asbestos-related diseases causing some 4,500 deaths each year in the UK, as well as many serious illnesses,” he added.

“When this type of work is undertaken by an unlicensed company, HSE has no ability to ensure it is done safely. Non-compliance with asbestos-licensing requirements is not acceptable and HSE will continue to enforce the law to protect both workers and members of the public.”

BLS Asbestos is fully licensed to carry out asbestos removal work and to transport and dispose of asbestos.

For more information about asbestos removal by a licensed contractor or to request a quote, please contact BLS Asbestos.

Published: 11th September 2014