Businessman breached control of asbestos regulations

Posted on

A businessman has narrowly escaped jail after failing to check whether asbestos was present in a building he was refurbishing.

Whaid Ahmed did not survey his property at 1-3 Stephenson Square, Manchester for asbestos before carrying out renovations to the building between April 2012 and October 2017, Manchester Magistrates’ Court was told.

Following a routine inspection from a Health and Safety Executive inspector, a survey was subsequently carried out.

Large amounts of asbestos, some in poor condition, were discovered on the premises, indicating that asbestos could have previously been removed without any controls in place from areas of the building already renovated.

The HSE investigation found Ahmed had failed to identify the risks involved and had not put appropriate measures in place to prevent asbestos exposure.

He had previous enforcement action from HSE over a similar issue so was well aware of his duties under the law.

Ahmed of Hale Barns, Altrincham, admitted breaching Regulations 5(a), 11(1)(a) and 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

He was given a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, sentenced to 250 community service hours and ordered to pay costs of £5,742.14.

HSE inspector Matt Greenly said afterwards: “This case highlights the importance of surveying a property for asbestos to prevent risk to anyone occupying or working in that building and to reduce the risk of exposure to asbestos and contracting incurable diseases as a result of that exposure.”

Mick Brennan, Health and Safety manager at EP Risk, says: “Asbestos awareness is a crucial investment for workers across many industries.

“It is a known carcinogen and there is no safe level of exposure, yet about a quarter of the 5,000 people who die each year from related diseases in Britain are tradespeople.

Our asbestos awareness training course is designed to enable you and your staff to become aware of the dangers associated with coming into contact with this potential killer.”