Norfolk construction firm fined £250k for unlicensed asbestos cleaning work

After an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive, Norwich Magistrates’ Court were told how the firm undertook a refurbishment at a Business Centre that included a former kitchen and canteen.

Work first started on the project in April 2015, with the investigation discovering significant exposure to asbestos materials occurred in a later phase of the refurbishment.

The investigation found that workers had little awareness of any asbestos on site and not been through any asbestos awareness training. The found that prior to the project starting, no demolition or refurbishment asbestos survey had been carried out. Following the HSE intervention a subsequent survey found asbestos debris on the ground level with an area of almost 1000 square metres.

Despite these findings and the surveyor’s recommendations, the unlicensed contractor then cleaned the debris by sweeping and hoovering the area.

Y Construction Ltd of 51-59 Rose Lane, Norwich, was found guilty of breaching Regulations 8(1), 10(1) and 11(1) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.  There were fined £250,000 and with additional costs of £6,512.88.

Following the hearing, HSE’s Inspector Kasia Urbaniak commented:

“The dangers associated with asbestos, including licensed asbestos, are well known and a wealth of advice and guidance is freely available from the HSE website.

Companies should be aware that the HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”