A Nottinghamshire building firm contaminated an elderly resident’s possessions with asbestos during bathroom renovation work at sheltered housing in West Bridgford.The contractors also left asbestos-containing materials outside the building in the open air, putting the public at risk.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the firm after it carried out work at the home of the 96-year-old in February 2010.

The company was removing asbestos insulation board (AIB) which had been used to box in pipework behind the bath but many of the resident’s possessions, including clothing and furniture was contaminated with asbestos fibres and had to be destroyed.

The dangerous work was spotted by the warden at the complex, who stopped the activity immediately and took the resident who had been sitting very close to the bathroom – to a safe place.

HSE told Nottingham Magistrates’ Court that the firm knew it was dealing with asbestos-containing material and though both partners had asbestos awareness training they failed to manage it appropriately, exposing employees; the resident and members of the public to asbestos fibres.

The contractor pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 7, 8, 11(1), 16 and 24(1) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and was fined a total of £20,000. The company was also ordered to pay full costs of £5,741.