Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 14°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Ipswich: Building contractor handed hefty fine after exposing homeowner and workers to asbestos

13:07 21 May 2014

Ipswich Magistrates

Ipswich Magistrates' Court

Archant

An Ipswich building contractor has been fined after it exposed workers and homeowners to potentially fatal asbestos material during work on a garage extension at a home in the town.

Columbus Building Contractors Ltd was hired by the homeowners to carry out a single-storey front garage extension and a kitchen conversion to the property in Fountains Road.

South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court was told yesterday that the garage, an integral part of the home, had an asbestos insulating board (AIB) ceiling that formed a fire break between it and the rest of the house.

During the conversion work, which took place between May 8 and August 2, 2012, the boards were removed, broken up and left on the homeowner’s front lawn.

The debris was placed into open bags before one of the homeowners took it to the tip in his car, where the possibility of asbestos was identified.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated and prosecuted the company for breaching asbestos safety regulations.

The court was told a licensed contractor had to undertake waste removal of the remaining asbestos material and conduct an environmental clean under fully-controlled conditions.

Columbus Building Contractors Ltd, of Crofton Road, Ipswich, was fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay £6,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching regulations 8(1) and 11(1)(a) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Adam Hills said: “This is an incident that was entirely preventable. Columbus Building Contractors had worked with this type of material before and had asbestos knowledge.

“They questioned the presence of asbestos materials in the ceiling but made no efforts to obtain an asbestos survey or take samples for analysis to establish if asbestos was contained within the ceiling.

“After removal, the asbestos material was simply left on the front lawn before being bagged in open sacks and transported to the local tip by the homeowner. Both the workers and homeowner would have been exposed to a significant amount of asbestos fibres during these works.

“It is absolutely essential that assumptions are not made when dealing with suspected asbestos materials. If in doubt, get it checked by a professional before starting any work.

“The dangers of exposure are well-known in the industry. There are long-term health risks associated with inhalation of asbestos fibres including lung cancer and mesothelioma.”

1 comment

  • The no win no fee solicitors will be rubbing their hands at potential asbestos claims.

    Report this comment

    The original Victor Meldrew

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

The crash is causing severe delays

Emergency services were called to a crash on the A12 at Eight Ash Green this afternoon to free a man trapped in his car.

Actor and writer Mark Gatiss visited the Riverside Theatre, Woodbridge, in August as part of its Riverside Nights programme

A cinema has revealed plans to install a second screen – 100 years after it opened in a Suffolk town.

12-20 Upper Orwell Street, which could be demolished and regenerated if plans by the East of England Co-op go through

A derelict building in Upper Orwell Street which has been empty for decades could be set for demolition if new plans for the area are approved.

GB Paralympic swimmer, Ryan Crouch, is pictured at Crown Pools in Ipswich.

The Olympics may have finished but the Games are not over yet – next month it is the turn of the Paralympics to take over Brazil.

The EACHFest event held for service users of East Anglia's Children's Hospices and their families

Young people with life-threatening conditions were treated to their very own festival by East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) recently.

Alexanders College at Bawdsey

A boarding school is closing after more than 20 years of educating international students in east Suffolk.

Ixworth Primary School could need to expand further.

The full scale of the new school-building programme needed to keep up with the population growth in Suffolk over the next few years will be laid out to councillors next month.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24