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Construction firm fined £90,000 after exposing public to asbestos during renovation work

A Warrington-based construction company has been fined £90,000 after exposing people to asbestos during a renovation project in the Hanley area of Stoke-on-Trent.


Despite failing to attend Staffordshire Magistrates’ Court on 24 August 2023, Esskay Construction Ltd was found guilty in its absence.


Nathan Cook, prosecuting on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told the court how the regulator received a concern on 31 August 2021 about asbestos disturbance. The concern related to a refurbishment project under the control of the company at an address in Brunswick Street in Hanley.


Representatives from the local authority had attended the site and discovered significant amounts of asbestos-containing debris to the front and rear of the building and along the public highway.


However, further investigation by HSE found that Esskay Construction Ltd had failed to appoint a competent person to carry out a refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey of the premises prior to carrying out work on site. The company then allowed refurbishment to commence without knowing where the asbestos containing materials were, resulting in them being disturbed and potentially exposing workers and members of the public to harmful asbestos fibres.


Esskay Construction Ltd of Mandarin Court, Warrington, Cheshire, failed to attend court but were found guilty in their absence, to breaching Regulations 5, 11 and 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. Esskay Construction Ltd were fined £90,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,009 and a victim surcharge of £190.


Every employer must make sure that anyone who is liable to disturb asbestos during their normal work, or who supervises those employees, gets the correct level of information, instruction and training so that they can work safely and competently without risk to themselves or others. Don't hesitate to get in contact if you require UKATA Asbestos Awareness or Non-Licensed Training. We offer classroom based training, on-site training, and online eLearning: 01782 438813 hello@youcandoit.training https://www.youcandoit.training/ukata

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