Michael Southern, owner of PMF Cladding, instructed an employee and a casual labourer to remove and replace soffit boards containing asbestos during refurbishment work at a property in Sharnbrook in August 2011.
At Bedford Magistrates’ Court on 3rd July 2013, the Court heard that a neighbour informed Mr Southern that the soffits were made of asbestos insulating board but Mr Southern did not stop his employees from carrying out the work. A complaint was made to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and an inspector attended the site. An investigation revealed that Mr Southern was aware from his previous work that soffit boards may contain asbestos but had not taken this into account when assessing the job. He had failed to carry out a suitable survey to determine whether asbestos was present and did not hold a licence to undertake work with asbestos material. He also failed to provide information and training to his employees who could be exposed to asbestos dust.
Mr Southern was fined £7,015 and ordered to pay £3,200 in costs after pleading guilty to four breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 on 30 August 2011.
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