A plumber has been prosecuted for breaching Asbestos regulations and putting both a home owner and his own son at risk of exposure to Asbestos fibres.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told magistrates that a plumber, who had been employed to replace a galvanized water tank in the loft of a house, had failed to carry out an assessment to see if asbestos was present and in what form and condition.

As a result, while replacing the tank the plumber’s son, also a plumber, removed an asbestos box from around it, breaking some of the panels. The HSE found that he had not had any asbestos awareness training.

The loft became contaminated with potentially deadly fibres and licensed contractors had to be brought in to remove all traces of the asbestos at a cost to the home owner of £2,870. The home owner – a mother with a young son – lost a number of personal belongings including family photographs and items that had belonged to her late grandmother.

The plumber pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 10(1)(a) and 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and was fined a total of £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,000. He was also ordered to pay compensation of £2,870 to the home owner.