Businessman Sentenced After Failing to Prevent Exposure to Asbestos

A Manchester-based businessman has been prosecuted after failing to check whether asbestos was present in a building he owned before starting major refurbishment works.

The Magistrates’ Court heard how the gentleman did not survey his property for asbestos before carrying out renovations to the building between 1 April 2012 and 12 October 2017. Following a routine inspection from a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector, a survey was subsequently carried out. Large amounts of asbestos, some of which was in very poor condition, was discovered on the premises, indicating that asbestos could have previously been removed without any controls in place from areas of the building already renovated.

The HSE investigation found that the gentleman failed to identify the risks involved, and put appropriate measures in place to prevent exposure to asbestos. Her had had previous enforcement action from HSE over a similar issue so was well aware of his duties under the law.

The gentleman pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 5(a), 11(1)(a) and 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. He was given a six months prison sentence, suspended for two years, sentenced to 250 community service hours and ordered to pay costs of £5,742.14.

The HSE inspector said after the case: “This case highlights the importance of surveying a property for asbestos to prevent risk to anyone occupying or working in that building and to reduce the risk of exposure to asbestos and contracting incurable diseases as a result of that exposure.”