Companies fined for breaching asbestos regulations

Posted on

A warning sign - two firms in Yorkshire have received fines for breaching asbestos regulations

Two Yorkshire-based companies have been fined for breaching asbestos regulations.

Leeds Crown Court heard how the now-liquidated Hallmark Design and Shopfitting began refurbishment works for Berry’s jewellery outlet, owned by Berens and Company Ltd, when it disturbed materials containing asbestos in August 2014.

Once Hallmark Design and Shopfitting realised it had disturbed asbestos they arranged for a licensed asbestos contractor to remove it under controlled conditions.

During a routine Health and Safety Executive inspection of the licensed asbestos removal works, it was found that the plan of work was not suitable. It was evident more asbestos would need to be removed than was originally planned, so the licensed contractors agreed to stop work.

A further HSE investigation found Berens had failed to provide principal contractor Hallmark with relevant information regarding the asbestos on-site and did not have a suitable refurbishment and demolition survey for the premises.

A prohibition notice was served on Hallmark because the company had failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment.

Hallmark Design and Shopfitting of Harden Beck Mill, Harden, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5 of The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and has since been liquidated leading to a fine of £1.

Berens of Albion Street, Leeds pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay £20,000 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Jayne Towey said: “Asbestos still kills around 5,000 workers each year and any building built or refurbished before the year 2000 may contain asbestos. The companies in this case did not take account of the risks associated with the disturbance of asbestos and put not only their workers but also the general public at risk of inhaling fibres.”

  • EP Risk Consultancy runs regular asbestos awareness courses for organisations and their employees. The next one is on February 19. Please contact us to discover more about how our experienced health and safety consultants can help you to stay legally compliant over asbestos issues.