Repeated asbestos failings lead to fine for construction company
A construction company from East Finchley in London has been fined due to the firm continually failing to comply with health and safety regulations.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) informed Canterbury Crown Court that it had conducted two investigations into the site – one in 2013 and another in 2014. During this time, Barroerock Construction Ltd was working on the conversion of a nine-storey office block into flats in Ashford, Kent. The building was known to contain asbestos.
The initial inspection by HSE was conducted as part of the organisation's refurbishment campaign. A refurbishment and demolition survey was carried out, but the company had not acted on the advice and recommendations within the report. During the demolition phase, as many as 40 workers may have faced asbestos exposure.
A second investigation was carried out by HSE, as complaints had been made about certain practices at the construction site. Although a licenced asbestos contractor had been engaged by the company, there were still some dangerous practices continuing. When HSE stopped work at the site for the second time, around 160 employees were working at the site.
Barroerock Construction Ltd was ordered to pay a £750,000 fine along with costs amounting to £14,874.68. Melvyn Stancliffe, the HSE inspector, stated that the failings of the company had placed the lives of many people at risk.
Specialist asbestos removers use PPE and other specific equipment to remove and dispose of asbestos safely, without risk to anyone.