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A trader from Leeds has received a suspended jail sentence after he was found guilty of exposing people to asbestos.

Clive Raper, working under the trade name Bramley Asbestos Removals, accepted a job for asbestos removal at a home in Bramhope, despite not having the correct licensing in place.

Asbestos is a known carcinogen (cancer-causing material) which requires specialist licensing to be removed. As well as demanding those working with the material are fully protected with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), contractors are mandated to follow strict processes and procedures.

Leeds Magistrates Court heard that Mr. Raper failed to take any safety measures dictated by law. As a result, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told the court, he exposed the owners of the home and the two labourers he took on for the job to dangerously high levels of asbestos fibres

Throughout the work, the two workers were not wearing PPE workwear such as full-face respiratory masks, nor were they using negative pressure devices. The area was not enclosed with protective sheeting either.

HSE also told the court that specialist vacuums were not used on site. This resulted in contaminated debris and fibres being left behind, further exposing the couple in their own home.

The incident, which took place in 2011, was further exacerbated by the fact that Mr. Raper was in full knowledge of what was required for working with asbestos. He was handed down an eight-month custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay cost contributions of £260 after pleading guilty.

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