Asbestos hbeA decorating company has been fined £45,000 and ordered to pay £36,943 in costs after it exposed employees, agency staff and members of the public to deadly asbestos material.

The incident occurred during a refurbishment project at offices in Poole over a period of several weeks. The Court heard that the company began removing ceilings at the two-story block without carrying out a suitable survey in advance to determine whether asbestos was present.

A visit to the site by the HSE revealed widespread contamination and asbestos failings, both inside and outside the building.

In addition, it was discovered that some material removed from the site as non-hazardous may also have included asbestos-containing materials.

As a consequence of these failings, four employees and 14 agency staff working under the control of the decorating company were exposed to asbestos dust fibres. In addition, there may be many more members of the public that were exposed to the Asbestos fibres during the workers’ journeys to and from the site during the two week period.

The decorating company pleaded guilty to three breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and was subsequently handed the fines.

Image courtesy of Simon Howarth