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Asbestos failings cost Northumberland business owner thousands

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Failure to have an asbestos survey carried out and to hire a licensed asbestos removal contractor for a refurbishment job has cost a Northumberland business owner thousands of pounds in fines and costs.

Timour Haghkar was prosecuted after workers were exposed to asbestos fibres during the refurbishment of the Excelsior Social Club building in Ashington.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation discovered that Haghkar did not have an asbestos survey completed either when he bought the club or prior to work commencing at the site.

As a result, he was unaware of the presence of asbestos insulating board (AIB) and the refurbishment was carried out without suitable control measures being implemented. The AIB was disturbed during the job and workers were exposed to potentially deadly asbestos fibres.

The removal of AIB is strictly regulated and should only be undertaken by licensed asbestos contractors, who have fully trained staff and the equipment needed to prevent people being exposed to the fibres that can cause asbestosis and mesothelioma. Haghkar, however, did not hire a specialist for the work.

Following the HSE investigation, Haghkar, of Woodhorn Road, Ashington, Northumberland was found guilty of breaching Regulations 5 and 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 at Mid and South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court and fined £560.

He was also charged £8,391.29 in fees for the cost of the HSE investigation, in addition to having to pay a licenced asbestos removal contractor £36,000 to clean up and safely remove the asbestos waste.

BLS Asbestos is a licensed asbestos removal contractor with vast experience of working on refurbishment sites and can help to ensure that your projects are completed safely and in full compliance with all relevant legislation.

For further details about our services or to request a quote, please call us on 01484 400558 or contact us via the website.


Published: 12th February 2016