The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 clearly outline the correct procedures for identification and either the management or removal of Asbestos fibres and materials.
All commercial buildings are duty bound to have an up to date Management Survey and where works are to be completed a Refurbishment & Demolition Survey is required. Both documents aim to identify sources of asbestos and should provide a plan for the building occupiers to be able to manage their activities from.
The majority of work with Asbestos must be removed by a HSE approved and licensed contractor, with any arisings being disposed via an approved and licensed company that can transport Hazardous Waste products.
Recently a building contractor from South East London was fined for running a construction site which led to workers being exposed to asbestos-containing materials.
Fadil Adil, of Coniston Road, Bromley, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for the way work was carried out on a construction site he was in charge of, on Bromley High Street between 21 and 29 June 2010. The project involved the demolition of a building which had a restaurant on the ground floor and flats above.
Asbestos insulating boards in the restaurant’s ceiling were broken up during the demolition which Mr Adil was overseeing. Three workmen demolished the building using sledgehammers and hand-operated breakers, meaning they could have been exposed to asbestos fibres.
The HSE investigation found that the defendant did not have a licence to work with asbestos, nor was he trained in construction management. At no point did the defendant carry out an asbestos survey, nor did he provide any guidance to the workmen regarding the presence of asbestos.
HSE Inspector Ian Seabrook said: “Sadly, this kind of incident is all too familiar because the defendant’s actions meant that his colleagues were more than likely exposed to asbestos fibres.
“The dangers of asbestos are well known; it is the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in the UK with around 1,000 tradesmen dying each year from asbestos-related diseases.
“Anyone working with these sorts of materials has to commission an asbestos survey to ascertain the level of work needed and then have asbestos removed in a controlled manner by a licensed contractor.”
At the City of London Magistrates’ Court, Fadil Adil pleaded guilty to breaching the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006, and the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. He was fined £19,300 and ordered to pay costs of £7,654.