HBE Asbestos SurveyA company in Poole has been fined for safety breaches after exposing workers to potentially fatal asbestos at a disused tile factory.

Poole Investments plc allowed a series of people and workers on to the site, despite being aware of the presence of asbestos materials from a survey it commissioned itself. The HSE investigated and prosecuted the company at Bournemouth Magistrates’ Court for safety failings.

The court heard that the company had agreed to sell redundant plant at the factory site to a local trader. Between October and the following April the trader unwittingly released asbestos dust and fibres when he demolished part of a disused pottery kiln while removing kiln carts from the site.

The following May, Poole Investments commissioned a firm to carry out an asbestos survey but allowed work to take place on site and next to the damaged kiln before the survey was completed in August of that year.

Even after the company received the survey report, which clearly stated asbestos debris was present and that the area should be made out-of-bounds, they allowed workers to continue activities at the premises.

Poole Investments plc based in Buckinghamshire, was fined £60,000 and ordered to pay a further £20,000 in costs after pleading guilty to three breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006.