HSE Northern IrelandA man from Newtownards has been fined £12,000 plus costs of £1,200 at Downpatrick Crown Court, Northern Ireland after pleading guilty to breaches of health and safety legislation.

The case arose when asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) were disturbed and spread during the demolition of outbuildings at a site in Ballyhalbert.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) found that Leslie Wright had not carried out a pre-demolition survey.

An asbestos management survey carried out by the site owner had identified asbestos cement to be present or presumed to be present on the roofs and other parts of the outbuildings. It also identified asbestos cement debris on the floors and in the areas outside the outbuildings.

However, the system of work used by Leslie Wright in the demolition of the outbuildings was not safe and fell short of acceptable work practices. There was neither a risk assessment nor a written plan of work for the removal of asbestos on the site.

The method used in the demolition of these outbuildings was such that dust containing asbestos fibres was released into the air. In addition, the rubble which was created by the demolition was found to be contaminated with asbestos.