Stockton social club fined for unlicensed asbestos removal

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Employers have been reminded of the importance of using only licensed contractors for asbestos removal work, after a Stockton-on-Tees social club was fined £1,200 for health and safety offences.

Elm Tree Social Club admitted four breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 at Teesside Magistrates’ Court on January 20th 2015, following an investigation by Stockton Council into a renovation project.

The club’s committee members removed asbestos insulation board from a store room ceiling themselves in 2013, but the law states that such work can only be carried out by licensed asbestos specialists.

Following a complaint, environmental health officers undertook an inspection of the premises and found that some asbestos containing materials were still attached to the ceiling.

The council officials ordered the club to organise a licensed contractor to undertake a full clean and subsequently found that as well as removing the asbestos, it had failed to document a risk assessment and a written plan of work.

Elm Tree was fined £1,200 and ordered to pay £800 in costs.

Councillor Steve Nelson, the Council’s cabinet member for housing and community safety, said that by not following the correct procedures, Elm Tree had failed to protect its employees from risk.

“Unlicensed individuals can put themselves and others at risk if they attempt to remove asbestos themselves,” he said.

“As this case demonstrates, we will deal robustly with anyone who does not take their responsibility seriously and will take appropriate action if that is the case.”

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

Published: 5th February 2015