Building contractor fined for asbestos failings at a domestic property construction project

A company has been fined for failing to complete the correct asbestos survey at a domestic construction project.

Salisbury Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 18 October 2017, there was a gas explosion at a flat at Market Place, Chippenham where construction work had been carried out to develop the property into flats.

Following the gas explosion, an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Prestige EA Ltd failed to plan, manage and monitor construction work to prevent persons from being exposed to risks associated with asbestos. Prestige EA Ltd was contracted to advise and manage the development of the property into four flats above a retail unit. The wrong type of asbestos survey was carried out before the work so the work completed was not in compliance with the law.

The now liquidated Prestige EA Ltd of St James Court, St James Parade, Bristol pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £2,000 and must pay costs of £3,000.

Speaking at the hearing, HSE inspector Leo Diez said: “Duty holders must make sure construction work is properly planned, managed and monitored to ensure asbestos work is carried out in a safe manner to the required standard.

“The dangers associated with asbestos are well known and a wealth of advice and guidance is freely available from HSE and other organisations.

“HSE will not hesitate to take action against companies who disregard the law and place lives at risk..”

Roderick Standing was a senior manager at the now dissolved Longwood Building Ltd and was contracted by Prestige EA Ltd to carry out the construction work. Following a trial, Mr Standing was found not guilty of breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

 

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. 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