MD gets penalty after 20 people exposed to asbestos fibres

Worcester Crown Court has fined Avon Freight Group and its Managing Director, Simon Poole, £30,000 each with £26,000 costs each after a “jobbing builder” was contracted to illegally remove asbestos.

The selfemployed builder found himself £3,000 worse off. The case concerned refurbishment work to offices that required asbestos insulation board (AIB) to be removed. Despite the architect having identified AIB from a survey, and even going so far as to provide a selection of quotes to his client for proper removal and disposal, the client placed the work with an unlicensed builder presumably to save money. Some time later a different contractor, visiting the premises to do other work, reported that he had found fragments of AIB on floors and left attached to walls.

The subsequent investigation by HSE found that people including staff, contractors and a tenant had unknowingly been at risk for five months and would have to live with the worry that they had inhaled fibres.

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