Suffolk firm in court after homeowners exposed to asbestos

On 20 May 2014 at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court, a Suffolk building contractor was fined after exposing workers and homeowners to potentially fatal asbestos material.
 
Columbus Building Contractors Ltd was undertaking conversion and extension work on the kitchen and garage of a private home in Ipswich in the summer of 2012. The garage had an asbestos insulating board (AIB) ceiling, acting as fire protection between it and the house. As part of the conversion work, the ceiling boards were removed and broken up and left on the front lawn of the house.
 
The broken boards were then bagged up and it was when the homeowner took them to the local tip that they were identified as possibly containing asbestos.
 
A Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigation followed and the company was prosecuted for a breach of asbestos safety regulations.
 
At the hearing, the Court was told that the removal of the asbestos should have been carried out by a licensed contractor under controlled conditions.
 
Columbus Building Contractors Ltd was fined £10,000 plus legal costs after pleading guilty to breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
 
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