Nightclub director exposed workers to asbestos
The owner of a Greater Manchester nightclub has pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety regulations, following the exposure of up to 20 workers to asbestos.
Manchester Magistrates' Court was told that UK Night Life Ltd, along with the sole director Charles John McGrath, had carried out a refurbishment on The Level night club in Bolton in August 2015. The work had been hurried along so that the club would be completed in time to open for freshers’ week, and the crowds of students who would go to the club.
The Health and Safety Executive were initially alerted to the club following a complaint made by Bolton County Council with regard to the construction works on the site, which were believed to be unsafe. Two Improvement Notices and three Prohibition Notices were served on the company, in addition to a Notification of Contravention, highlighting the significant risk of asbestos exposure. The investigation by the HSE also found that there was no competent site manager, welfare facilities were unsuitable, there was a risk of falling from height and fire safety precautions were inadequate.
The director of the company pleaded guilty to the breaches and was fined £5,720, as well as being ordered to pay costs of £3,535.86. According to Judge Sanders, McGrath had rushed the renovation of the club, with the intention of cutting costs rather than focusing on the safety of his workers.
Removal of asbestos requires specialist knowledge and workwear, plus the use of PPE, to be carried out safely.