Contractor Prosecuted after Uncontrolled Asbestos Removal

Individual Fined after Illegal Work Involving Asbestos

An individual contractor has been prosecuted after he removed licensable asbestos containing materials (ACM) without having the necessary license. The man was undertaking activities involved in a garage conversion at a domestic property. He had stripped the ceiling in the garage and had removed the ACM, leaving debris at the site. The contractor, Mohammad Arshad, was fined £1200 and had to pay costs of £1000.

Contractor Prosecuted after Uncontrolled Asbestos Removal 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the accident. A member of the public had reported that there was fibrous material, which looked like asbestos insulation board, located outside the domestic property. After testing this was found to be licensable ACM. Inspectors established during the subsequent investigation that the contractor had undertaken the removal of the ACM without being licensed to do so, and had done this without putting the right procedures in place to prevent exposure and stop the fibres from spreading.

5 tips to help ensure workers and others are kept safe in relation to asbestos:

  1. Be sure to know where your ACM is located, what type it is and what condition it is in. Remember that asbestos may pose a health risk if it is in an accessible place and in a poor or damaged condition.
  2. Do a risk assessment before undertaking any work on or near ACM. Make sure all persons working on or near it are aware of its location, and have put the correct control measures in place before starting work. Remind all workers that ACM could be present in buildings built or refurbished before the year 2000.
  3. Make sure that any work is accompanied by a written plan that includes how those persons involved intend to prevent any exposure to persons in the vicinity, and how the spread of a potential release into the air would be prevented, as well as any emergency procedures required in the event of a problem occurring.
  4. Train workers to recognise ACM, and inform them of what to do if they think they have encountered some, such as stopping work immediately and reporting it to a team leader or manager.
  5. Make sure that any removal work of relevant ACM is undertaken by licensed contractors, as applicable, and that it is disposed of correctly as hazardous waste.

Asbestos fibres can lead to fatal diseases if breathed in or ingested, which is why materials containing them must be handled and disposed of by those qualified to do so. Be sure that your workers and anyone else on your sites are protected by making sure any work with ACM is carried out properly and in a safe manner.