Two Enfield firms fined after unlicenced asbestos removal

October 7, 2009

Two companies have been prosecuted after workers and members of the public were exposed to unacceptable levels of asbestos during a removal project.

The Health and Safety Executive took the companies to court, on the 6th October 2009, after an unlicensed contractor carried out the specialist work at a warehouse in Brimsdown, Enfield.

On 29 November 2005, Noble Gift Packaging Ltd contracted A & T Roofing Ltd to remove the roof from a building on Lockfield Avenue. The roof was lined with 3,000 square metres of asbestos insulating board that contained Amosite (brown asbestos fibres), which requires removal in highly controlled conditions by licensed asbestos contractors.

A & T Roofing Ltd, of Enfield, pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court, on 1 September 2009, to Regulation 3(1) of the Asbestos (Licensing) Regulations 1983, and Sections 2(1) and 3(1) Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. They were fined £25,000 and were ordered to pay costs of £33,844.30.

Noble Gift Packaging Ltd, of Enfield, pleaded guilty at the City of London Magistrates Court, on 28 October 2008, to Section 3(1) Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. They were fined £40,000 and were ordered to pay costs of £19,223.65.

A & T Roofing Ltd employees spent 12 weeks removing and smashing the boards before sweeping the dust and debris into bags. The workers were not provided with effective protection, even after the company found out that the material being cleared contained Amosite.

Managers allowed work to continue after employees complained and a tested sample showed the presence of asbestos. Workers at the site were exposed to potentially deadly fibres. These were carried on their clothes and into their homes, vehicles, onto public transport, and may have contaminated the general public and their own families.

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