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Building firm fined over asbestos work

3rd August 2010 | Warning Signs

A building firm has been fined £2,500 after allowing its workers to undertake unlicensed asbestos removal.

In a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Ron Couch Building Contractors Ltd, from Pontypool, pleaded guilty to two charges under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006.

The firm was undertaking work replacing a central heating boiler at a private residence when workers removed a door covered in asbestos insulation in order to remove the boiler.

A licensed asbestos contractor, who happened to be working nearby, alerted the workers to the danger of asbestos when he saw the door lying outside.

Under law any work involving asbestos insulation must be undertaken by licenses contractors.

Steve Richardson, an inspector with the HSE, said: "The company was well aware of its legal duties in terms of asbestos work as, prior to this incident, it carried out removal of the asbestos boiler flue in a safe manner using qualified personnel.

"AIB poses less of a risk if not damaged, but this work exposed the edges of the board increasing the risk of releasing asbestos fibres which could be inhaled by the workers and anyone else using the premises."

In addition to the fine the company was ordered to pay £1,250 in costs.

According to the HSE, asbestos is the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in the UK.



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