Contractor falls foul of asbestos regs…

Portmouth-based contractor hit with fine over illegal asbestos strip.

A Portsmouth demolition firm faced criminal charges in court today after stripping more than 50 metres of potentially-deadly asbestos board without a license and potentially putting workers at risk.

James Site Services Ltd, of Cosham, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after Inspectors carried out a routine visit to a small site under development in Fareham, Hampshire.

Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court was told the company, which specialises in site preparation, had been hired to undertake a ‘soft strip’ and other preparatory tasks before construction work started.

HSE discovered the firm had illegally removed 54 metres of asbestos insulation board from a bungalow that was due to be refurbished despite it not holding a licence to remove asbestos containing materials (ACMs).

The HSE investigation found James Site Services had correctly commissioned a survey to identify the presence of ACMs, which advised it to seek a licensed contractor. HSE said the firm chose to ignore the findings and carried out the work themselves – possibly exposing their workers to the dangerous fibres.

James Site Services Ltd, of Spur Road, Cosham, Hampshire, was fined a total of £500 with £1,000 in costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

“This was a serious failing on the part of the company. Having received the survey they asked for, it looks as though no one at James Site Services bothered to read it,” says HSE Inspector Dominic Goacher. “Or, if they did, they disregarded its contents and failed to act to protect workers from possible exposure to one of the deadly killers in industry.”

Full details here.