Posted by Richard Brooks, Partner
Workers exposed to asbestos during refurbishment work
Two firms have been hit with fines after asbestos was disturbed during a refurbishment project in East London.
Westminster Magistrates Court heard how a pair of workers from 24-Hour Maintenance Services Ltd had disturbed insulating boards while they working on a project to convert a commercial premises in Romford into flats.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the client had not passed on the details about the presence of asbestos, despite having prior knowledge of the material.
No refurbishment and demolition survey had been conducted prior to the 2014 development and the employees stripped out the boards without taking any precautions, therefore being exposed to potentially deadly fibres.
24-Hour Maintenance Services Ltd, of Hertfordshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £5,000 with £974.44 in costs and a victim surcharge of £500.
Firestone Estates Ltd admitted breaching Regulation 10(1)(b) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and were fined £10,000 and was ordered to pay £1020.64 in costs with a £1,000 victim surcharge.
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