An asbestos removal company, and two of its managers, have today been prosecuted after forging documents in order to obtain an asbestos licence from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Greater Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how, between 16 March 2012 and 10 March 2016, Excavation and Contracting (UK) Ltd used both forged medical certificates and forged asbestos training certificates for their asbestos removal operatives.
These forged documents had been made by their asbestos operations manager, David Lloyd, and included medicals in the name of the company operations manager, Lee Cooper, and forged training certificates for Lee Cooper and the managing director, Brendan O’Halloran. The doctor who had allegedly issued these medical certificates had retired sometime earlier to live outside the UK.
The HSE investigation found the defendants had used forged documents to obtain an asbestos licence from HSE in order to trade. The investigation also found the company could not show that they had properly trained or adequately monitored their workers who were exposed to asbestos.
David Lloyd, of Hanwell Close, Leigh pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 10(1)(a) and 22(1)(c) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. He was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison suspended for two years and was ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay costs of £1,000.
Lee Cooper, of Shelley Close, Huyton, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 10(1)(a) and 22(1)(c) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and was ordered to undertake 80 hours of community service and pay costs of £1,000.
Excavation and Contracting (UK) Ltd of West Quay Road, Warrington, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 10(1)(a) and 22(1)(c) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and was fined £13,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,000.
HSE inspector Matt Greenly said after the case:
“Putting people at risk from asbestos by not training them or monitoring their health, as required by law, not only puts their lives at risk from an incurable set of diseases, but is also wholly unnecessary.
There are ample affordable training providers and approved doctors who can carry out these functions at the convenience of the contractor.
Taking deliberate shortcuts by creating forged documents will not be tolerated by the HSE and we will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”