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Unlicensed asbestos removal proves costly for North Wales businessman

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A North Wales businessman has been fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,400 after hiring unlicensed contractors to carry out asbestos removal work.

Peter Rees, of York Road, Deganwy, received the sentence after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 during a hearing at Llandudno Magistrates’ Court on January 20th 2015.

The Court heard that Mr Rees was in the process of selling a business unit in Eagle Farm Road on the Mochdre Business Park in September 2012 when an asbestos survey commissioned by the buyer identified a large amount of asbestos insulating board in the building.

He agreed to organise its removal, but instead of commissioning a licensed asbestos removal contractor as the law requires, he employed a general contractor.

As a result, asbestos dust was spread throughout the building and, following a complaint, a licensed contractor had to be hired to undertake a significant clean-up operation before the premises could be reoccupied.

Health and Safety Executive Inspector Chris Wilcox said the contamination was a direct result of the failure to employ a licensed asbestos removal contractor with the right experience and equipment to carry out the initial work.

He added: “Anyone who owns or has control of non-domestic premises has a legal duty to manage the risk of asbestos in their buildings. When asbestos is removed, it must be done by someone who is trained and competent to do the work.”

For advice about asbestos removal by a fully licensed contractor, please get in touch with BLS Asbestos.

Published: 21st January 2015