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 & Safety Executive (HSE).

Mr 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 with no precautions to prevent his own or anyone else’s exposure to asbestos fibres.

The court heard that Mr Locher did not have any asbestos awareness training, so was not in a position to recognise that the lagging may be asbestos and to avoid completing any work until a licensed contractor had removed it.

The homeowners subsequently had to move out of their home pending thorough decontamination of the property.

Karl Locher, 48, of 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.