Lack of protection for workers from asbestos exposure has led to a company being fined and 2 of its employees jailed. The workers themselves raised the issue when they believed they were being put in danger whilst working on a refurbishment in Plymouth.
The company had been contracted to carry out an asbestos survey and consequently remove all identified asbestos-containing material (ACMs) from the building and then carry out the initial strip-out of the building before it was refurbished. It was found that company had purposely been cutting corners in managing the dangers of exposure to asbestos. There were irregularities in the asbestos survey and clearance certificates, and some were identified as fraudulent.
The Asbestos removal company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £100,000.
The director also pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was sentenced to 10 months in prison and has been disqualified from being a director for 5 years.
The contracts manager pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1), 3(1) and 33(1)(m) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison and disqualified from being a director for 10 years.