Contractor receives jail term for exposing workers to asbestos

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A contractor has been jailed for exposing him self and two other workers in his employment to asbestos at an industrial unit in Wales and was given a custodial sentence of 26 weeks.

The men were exposed to potentially deadly asbestos fibres while working in the unit at Colwyn Bay around 11 September 2012 by Brian Roberts of Llandudno.

Health and safety
Health and safety

The Court at Llandudno heard how Roberts who was trading as Light in Design, had been contacted by the owner of the premises,to remove asbestos from the building prior to sale but asbestos removal needs to be carried out by approved contractors carrying out the correct method and procedure’s.

The Court heard that the HSE was alerted to the unlicensed work by a contractor who was properly licensed to remove asbestos.

An investigation by the HSE’s  found that Brian Roberts had removed a significant quantity of asbestos insulation board from the property despite not holding a licence to work with such a dangerous material.

Brian Roberts pleaded guilty to breaching the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Chris Wilcox said: “The safe removal of asbestos requires a high level of skill and technical knowledge and must be done by a contractor licensed by HSE.”

“Asbestos is the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in the UK. There are specific rules in place to make sure it is dealt with safely and contractors have a duty to ensure they protect their workers from risk of exposure.

“By undertaking the uncontrolled removal of asbestos, work for which he was not licensed, Brian Roberts exposed himself and his co-workers to the risk of inhaling asbestos fibres.

“The outcome of this exposure cannot easily be assessed but there remains the possibility of ill health in the future. The workers could also have posed a health risk to others, including, for example, their families and loved ones, by taking home contaminated clothing.

“Those involved now have to live with the fear of becoming ill with this life-threatening lung disease.”

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