Tenants of a house in Lincolnshire, including a three-year-old girl, were exposed to dangerous levels of deadly asbestos dust, when an asbestos-lagged tank was removed without proper safety precautions.
Lincoln Crown Court heard that Blankney Estates Ltd, the company that rented the property in Scopwick, did not adequately manage what were clearly deteriorating asbestos materials. Furthermore, it did not ensure that work within the property to remove the tank was properly planned and carried out safely by competent contractors.
Plumbing company Michael Grace Ltd and Adam and John Thurlby, directors of a family-owned demolition company ART Dismantling Co Ltd, that worked on removing the tank from the house, were also fined.
Blankney Estates, of Leicester, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. It was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £20,000 in costs.
HSE said it failed in its Section 3 duty to take reasonable steps to ensure the premises were safe and to ensure that the work to remove the tank was done safely.
Adam Robert Thurlby, of Nottinghamshire, and John Thurlby, of Lincoln, also pleaded guilty. They were each fined £12,500 and ordered to pay £7,500 costs for contravening five CAR Regulations while acting as directors of ART Dismantling.
Michael Grace, of St John Street, London, pleaded guilty to three CAR offences and was fined £10,000 plus £5,000 in costs.
Asbestos can be found in any building built before the year 2000 and causes around 5,000 deaths every year. HSE’s website has extensive information on asbestos and how to manage the risks associated with it http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/.