Domestic Refurbishment contractors fined for unlicensed removal of asbestos pipe lagging
Teesside Magistrates Court fined two contractors £1,268 and awarded costs against them of £1,691 after they had removed asbestos lagging from pipework they discovered in a loft space in a home they were refurbishing in June and July 2016.
The HSE investigation found that the two contractors had removed the lagging, despite knowing it contained asbestos. Neither were licenced or trained to remove asbestos of this type, and the removal was carried out without the required measures in place to reduce the risk of exposing themselves and the house occupants to inhaling harmful asbestos fibres.
Both contractors pleaded guilty to breaching regulations 8(1) and 11(1) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
After the hearing, the HSE report their inspector as stating: “Asbestos is responsible for the premature deaths of approximately 5,000 workers each year”.
“In this case, it was foreseeable that, in the absence of measures to reduce asbestos fibres becoming airborne during removal of the pipe lagging, that people were at risk of being exposed to them. It was reasonably practicable for the work to have been removed by a licensed asbestos removal contractor under fully controlled condition thus reducing the risk of exposure to asbestos.”
“Our website and other publications clearly state that asbestos pipe lagging should only be removed by a licensed asbestos removal contractor, by trained asbestos operatives, and under fully controlled conditions to reduce exposure to asbestos.”