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Heating engineer fined after homeowners put at risk of asbestos exposure

Date:
18 September 2015

A self employed heating engineer has been fined after removing asbestos lagged pipework in a domestic property with no precautions to prevent exposure to asbestos fibres.

Karl Locher pleaded guilty at Trafford Magistrates’ Court after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Locher was employed to install a new heating system in the domestic property. He removed the redundant pipework that was lagged with asbestos, using a powered electric saw. He then transported the pipework through the property and deposited it outside on the drive.

The Court heard that Karl Locher did not have any asbestos awareness training. HSE told the court that had Karl Locher been appropriately trained, he would have been in a position to recognise that the lagging may be asbestos. He would have known to avoid any work until it had been demonstrated as asbestos free or been removed by a licensed contractor. Instead, Locher removed the pipes with no precautions to prevent his own exposure to asbestos fibres, and the potential for other persons to be exposed. The homeowners have had to move out of their home pending thorough decontamination of the property.

Karl Locher, 48, of Minet Drive, Heyes, Middlesex, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £5,000 with £3,000 costs.

Notes to editors   

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk 
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/   
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

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