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A trained supervisor working with a licensed company has been charged over £2,000 after needlessly allowing himself to be exposed to asbestos.

Jack Conn, who was removing the cancer-causing material from a school in Kent, was spotted by a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector in the May of last year.

He was seen working within the sealed off area without his respiratory mask in place – an essential piece of equipment when working with asbestos.

Conn was also seen with his special overalls not being worn appropriately, despite a colleague correctly wearing his personal protective equipment in the same area.

After the hearing, the inspector on the case, Nicola Wellard, explained that it 'beggars belief' to see a blatant disregard for personal safety from a trained worker. Warning that Conn should have set the standards for his colleagues, Wellard added:

“It was an obviously flagrant and deliberate breach. I hope he will not come to regret it in years ahead.”

With about 4,000 deaths each year due to asbestos fibres being breathed in, the court was told how Conn was only spotted thanks to the HSE inspector noticing his actions on a CCTV monitor.

It was only after the inspector contacted Conn's employer that he left the enclosed area, after he had failed to respond to calls made through the airlock.

After admitting to a breach of health and safety laws pertaining to the workplace, Conn was fined £1,000 and instructed to pay the court costs of £1,500.

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