HBE Asbestos SurveyThe owner of a cladding installation business has been fined over £10,000 after he exposed his workers to asbestos fibres at a house they were working on in Bedfordshire.

The contractor instructed an employee and a casual labourer to remove and replace soffit boards during refurbishment work at the property.

The Court heard that the contractor had not carried out a suitable survey in advance to determine whether asbestos was present and did not hold a licence to undertake work with the dangerous material.

A neighbour informed the contractor that the soffits were made of asbestos insulating board but that did not stop him allowing work to carry on. A complaint was made to the HSE, and work was halted by an inspector.

An investigation showed that contractor was aware from some of his previous jobs that soffit boards may contain asbestos but had not taken this into account when assessing this job. He had also failed to provide information and training to workers who could be exposed to asbestos fibres.

The contractor was fined £7,015 and ordered to pay £3,200 in costs after pleading guilty to four breaches of asbestos regulations.