Personal injury news

Builder put employees at risk of asbestosis

A builder has been fined 7,500 for exposing his employees and members of the public to asbestos during a demolition.

Building contractor Steven Balfe pleaded guilty at Derby Crown Court last week after exposing his employees and members of the public to asbestos during a demolition in Buxton.

It was a passing shopper that alerted a council Environmental Health Officer about the way Mr Balfe was using a crowbar to tear down boarding at Devonshire Library, which later investigations confirmed to be an asbestos insulation board with amosite (brown) asbestos.

Mr Balfe was charged under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 for failing to ensure the health and safety of employees at work by failing to safely remove materials containing asbestos and for failure to ensure that employees were not exposed to any risks to their health and safety.

Another charge was made under the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002, for failing to assume that the asbestos material present was that other than chrysotile (white) asbestos.

Mr Balfe was fined 2,500 for each offence and ordered to pay over 4,500 costs.

Anybody exposed to asbestos could suffer from serious personal injuries, which is why only specialists can legally remove an amosite asbestos insulation board.


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