On 31 March 2014, a Portsmouth demolition firm faced criminal charges at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty of a breach of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
James Site Services Ltd, of Cosham, which specialise in site preparation for development work, had been hired to undertake preparatory tasks prior to construction work commencing at a site in Fareham, Hampshire.
Following a routine visit to the site by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), inspectors found that despite the company not holding a licence to carry out the work, James Site Services had removed 54 metres of asbestos board from a bungalow due for refurbishment.
The company had commissioned a survey to identify the presence of asbestos at the site which advised them to use a licensed contractor for the asbestos removal. However, these findings were ignored and James Site Services went ahead and carried out the work themselves. By doing so, they possibly exposed their workers to potentially deadly asbestos fibres.
James Site Services was fined £500 plus costs of £1,000.
After the hearing, HSE Inspector Dominic Goacher said:
“It is vital companies are fully aware of not just the duty to get an asbestos survey done, but then to act on its findings. There is considerable free guidance from HSE to help.”
Further details on this article can be found at http://press.hse.gov.uk/2014/portsmouth-company-in-court-over-asbestos-exposure-dangers/?eban=govdel-asbestos&cr=31-Mar-2014.