Construction company fined for asbestos failings.

Asbestos Fibres under microscope

A building contractor has been fined for failing to ensure an asbestos survey had been completed at a domestic construction project.

Salisbury Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 18 October 2017, there was a gas explosion at a flat at Market Place, Chippenham where construction work had taken place to renovate the building into flats.

Following the explosion, the HSE investigation found Prestige EA Ltd failed to plan, manage, and monitor construction work to prevent persons from being exposed to dangerous asbestos fibres. The Contractor, Prestige EA Ltd was contracted to advise and manage the development of the property into four flats above some retail units. The  incorrect asbestos survey had been carried out before the work so the work completed was not in compliance with current asbestos regulations and other associated health and safety legislation.

The now liquidated Prestige EA Ltd of St James Court, St James Parade, Bristol pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £2,000 and must pay costs of £3,000.

Speaking at the hearing, HSE Inspector Leo Diez said: “Duty holders must make sure construction work is properly planned, managed, and monitored to ensure asbestos work is carried out in a safe manner to the required standard.

"The dangers associated with asbestos are well known and a wealth of advice and guidance is freely available from HSE and other organisations".

“HSE will not hesitate to take action against companies who disregard the law and place lives at risk..”

Roderick Standing was a senior manager at the now-dissolved Longwood Building Ltd and was contracted by Prestige EA Ltd to carry out the construction work. Following a trial, Mr Standing was found not guilty of breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

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