Asbestos failings lead to fine for Derby contractor and site manager

A failure to protect workers from exposure to asbestos has resulted in fines for the principal contractor and site manager of a Derby construction site.

M&S Developments and Adam Campbell, the site manager (operating as Kynersley Management Services Ltd) were sentenced at Derby Magistrates’ Court after admitting charges relating to a project to convert a former office building into apartments.

The Court heard that labourers on the site removed asbestos insulating board (AIB) ceiling panels from a store room - work that should have been carried out by a licensed asbestos removal contractor under controlled conditions.

Prior to the construction work starting, an asbestos refurbishment survey was carried out, which clearly indicated that the lower ground floor storeroom contained AIB ceiling panels. However, these were not removed before work began and they were accidentally damaged as a result.

The site manager then instructed two young labourers to remove 4 to 6m of the damaged panels. The workers were not trained in asbestos removal and suitable measures were not in place to control the asbestos and minimise the risk to both site staff and the general public.

Once the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) were involved, a licensed asbestos removal contractor was hired to clean the site. Asbestos floor tiles were also found and identified as at risk of damage, so were also safely removed.

The HSE’s investigation found that M&S Developments and Adam Campbell had failed to suitably manage the asbestos containing materials (ACM) on the site, and had further failed to remove the ACM that had been found during the refurbishment survey prior to any potential disturbance during construction work. Campbell was also found to have failed to respond appropriately when the AIB ceiling panels were damaged.

M&S Developments pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £9,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,336.

HSE inspector Andrew Bowker said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by the duty holders simply carrying out correct asbestos control measures and safe working practices ... Most types of asbestos containing material work require a licensed removal contractor with suitably trained and licensed workers.”

BLS Asbestos are a specialist asbestos contractor with over 20 years’ experience in the safe removal of ACM from residential, commercial and industrial properties.

Call us on 01484 400558 or contact us via the website to arrange a free, no-obligation site visit.

Published: 6th February 2018

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