Firm fined £10,000 over asbestos

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(Posted Fri, 11 Feb on IOSH Website)

A company has been fined £10,000 for failing to use the proper methods for dealing with asbestos as it knocked down an old church.

A member of the public complained to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) while Berry Estates Development was demolishing the building on Holborough Road in Snodland, Kent.

The site was owned by Bernard Berry – who has also been fined – and his company was knocking down the church, Maidstone Magistrates’ Court heard.

He could not show he had completed the necessary paperwork – risk assessments, a plan for demolition or method statements – and no asbestos survey was done before work started, the court heard.

Debris from the building was going into pedestrian areas and broken up with an excavator, the HSE said. It also criticised the general security of the site and said there was nothing in place to stop dust spreading.

There was nothing to show staff had been trained, no plan of work for them and they had no access to personal protection or breathing masks, the HSE said.

The construction company, of Red Hill, Wateringbury, Maidstone, Kent admitted breaking three parts of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006. Maidstone Magistrates’ Court ruled it must pay a £10,000 fine and costs of £3,391. Company director Mr Berry, pleaded guilty to breaching the same rules in a hearing at the same court. He was told to pay a fine of £5,000 and £3,391 costs.

Richard Gallimore

Asbestos Manager


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f. 020 7734 6626

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