Two companies have been fined after unsafe asbestos work was carried out in the kitchen of a property in Leatherhead, Surrey.
Staines Magistrates’ Court heard how Kingsley Asbestos Services Limited (KAS), although a licensed asbestos removal contractor, was sub contracted by Bourne Valley Construction Services Limited (BVCS) to carry out the work.
KAS removed some asbestos containing materials and agreed to carry out repair works on other water damaged materials within the properties. During works to cut away damaged wall coverings in the kitchen, one of the workers cut into a pale coloured board, which after subsequent testing proved it to be Asbestos Insulation Board.
A Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found BVCS failed to plan the work and pass on information to KAS. It was the responsibility of both BVCS and KAS to arrange for a refurbishment and demolition survey. As a consequence work was carried out without establishing the location, presence and extent of asbestos containing materials on site.
Bourne Valley Construction Services Ltd of Salisbury, Wiltshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13 (2) of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007, was fined £8000 and ordered to pay full costs.
Kingsley Asbestos Services Ltd of Ferring in Worthing pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5 (1) (a) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, was fined £6000 and ordered to pay full costs.
HSE inspector Rebekah Dunn said: “Asbestos still kills around 5000 workers each year and around 20 tradesmen die each week as a result of past exposure.
“BVCS were in control of the works and should have provided information identified in such a survey or assessment regarding the presence of asbestos to KAS as their sub-contractor.”