Builders warned about Asbestos Insulation Boards removal by HSE

Building contractors who are not licensed to remove AIB (asbestos insulation boards) can expect to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

The HSE (Health & Safety Executive) will not tolerate asbestos being removed unsafely.  This was highlighted in the recent case of a Wigan building contractor heard in Manchester Magistrates Court.

Breach of Asbestos Removal Regulations

Convicted of breaching Health & Safety regulations, related to removing insulation boards containing asbestos, Anthony McGrath from Winstanley Construction, Wigan was ordered to pay fines totalling £475.  In addition, a compensation order of £7,500 was awarded to the homeowners who had employed him.

McGrath entered a guilty plea for breaching the following regulations:

  • Regulation 10 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012
  • Regulation 8 (1) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012

The regulations related to removal of asbestos are strict. Only those who are licensed and fully trained, with the correct equipment, are permitted to carry out this work.  Not surprising, considering that exposure to asbestos fibres is extremely hazardous to health.

Mesothelioma cancer is just one of many asbestos related diseases that people may suffer from following exposure.  Unfortunately for these homeowners, Winstanley Construction didn’t engage the services of suitably qualified and licensed personnel for asbestos removal from their house.

Contractor stated asbestos insulation boards were safe

McGrath was reported by the homeowners during the course of their garage being converted at Bassett Grove, Wigan. Having removed the dangerous insulation boards, the contractor dumped the broken up pieces in the garden.  When asked what the debris was, McGrath said the boards contained asbestos intimated there was nothing to worry about.  He added that they would be taken off site shortly.

Naturally concerned, the homeowner discussed the matter with the local council. She then contacted a licensed asbestos removal specialist who verified that the boards were indeed AIB and should not have been removed outside of a controlled environment.

Huge decontamination cost

As a result of the unsafe removal, the homeowners had to vacate the property for over a week.  The cost of cleaning the contaminated areas of the home amounted to more than £12,000.

After the case, Inspector David Norton from the Health and Safety Executive

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector David Norton said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.”

He warned that businesses and individuals who didn’t comply with regulations would be prosecuted without hesitation.

Asbestos Sampling

Suspect there are asbestos insulation boards in your home? You can purchase and affordable asbestos testing kit from Asbestos Sampling.  If the samples you take are positively tested by our laboratory you must ensure that you use a fully licensed contractor to remove and dispose of them.  If you would like help finding a local contractor, contact us and we will consult our database. Be aware DIY is not an option for this type of job.