Cinema owner faces charges for asbestos exposure

Court proceedings have been initiated following an investigation into the way asbestos was dealt with between September 16, 2010, and April 5, 2012, at the cinema which opened in London Road last year after an extensive refurbishment, including removal of the fibre by a specialist company.

At Stevenage Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (13), the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) alleged that Odyssey owner James Hannaway, of Waterside, Berkhamsted, as director of The Alpha Cinema St Albans Ltd, had contravened control of asbestos regulations.

HSE alleged that demolition, maintenance or other work had been undertaken in a way which exposed or was liable to expose employees to asbestos at the cinema, without carrying out a suitable and sufficient assessment as to whether asbestos, and what type of asbestos, was contained in what material, and in what condition it was present or likely to be present.

A further two charges were laid in relation to failure to reasonably reduce the spread of asbestos to the lowest level reasonably practicable, and a failure to ensure people not in his employment were not exposed to risks to their health and safety.

The case is expected to be heard in November.