Lack of asbestos awareness costly for roofer

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Failure to undertake suitable asbestos awareness training can be very costly for tradesmen, as a Berkshire-based roofer discovered after he drilled through asbestos insulation boards (AIB) in a ceiling.

Michael Wilkie was contracted by a householder to replace the covering of the flat roof of the garage adjoining their house, and subsequent remedial work. This included the installation of a drainpipe through the ceiling below.

The ceiling comprised of AIB which Wilkie cut a hole in for the pipe. He then left debris that contained asbestos in a waste bag for the householder to dispose of.

A subsequent Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that he had no experience or knowledge of working with asbestos containing materials and had failed to take suitable measures to prevent the occupants and himself from exposure to asbestos fibres.

Work with 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. Wilkie, however, did not hire a specialist for the work.

At a hearing at Reading Magistrates’ Court, Michael Wilkie (trading as Royal County Roofing), of Ploughlands, Bracknell, Berkshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 5(1)(a), 11(1) and 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, and was fined £660 and ordered to pay costs of £1,023.

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: 7th April 2016