Companies fined after exposing employees to asbestos

News Article

Two companies in Stockport, one in construction and the other in property management, were fined after failing to manage asbestos safely during a refurbishment.

Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how Swift Property Management MCR Ltd contracted Samer Constructions Limited to refurbish a former office block in Hazel Grove, Stockport.

Before 2 August 2018, materials containing asbestos and general waste were discarded from the property and spread across the roof of a one storey part of the block.

During this task, some of the materials fell below into a car park area. This area had not been separate from passing members of the public.

An investigation found that an asbestos survey carried out on 31 May 2018 identified the presence of asbestos-containing materials (ACM’s), including licensed ACM’s. However, Samer Constructions Ltd did not receive this information before the work began.

Swift Property Management MCR Ltd failed in its obligation to pass the survey onto the contractor before the work began and pleaded guilty to breaching sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. They were fined £25,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,428.

Samer Constructions Limited failed in its obligation to identify whether a survey had been undertaken and went ahead with the work in a reckless manner, resulting in exposing two employees to asbestos fibres. The company pleaded guilty to breaching sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,428.

Jeremy Sirrell, a Partner at Palmers and a Health and Safety expert, said: “The failure to handout and check if a survey had been done has led to this avoidable incident.

“If you are concerned about your businesses’ safety obligations, then it is important that you seek specialist advice at the earliest convenience.”

For help and guidance on all aspects of Health and Safety Law, including putting in place strategies to protect your workforce, please contact our expert team today.