School conversion job hit by clouds of asbestos dust

Grant Prior 4 years ago
Share

A property developer who exposed employees to asbestos has been given an eight-month suspended prison sentence and been ordered to pay fines and costs of £100,000.

asbestos-sign

Nottingham Crown Court heard that James Roger Carlton,64, of South Leverton ignored the presence of asbestos insulation board at the site of the former King Edward VI School on London Road, Retford.

He knew the potentially dangerous material formed part of the pre-fabricated buildings on the site, but ignored advice on its safe removal.

The HSE visited the school, which was being converted into a retirement complex, on 1 March 2012 during a construction safety initiative.

An inspector identified the type of building which is known to contain asbestos, and gave Carlton advice on what he needed to do to comply with the relevant legislation surrounding its removal.

Eight days later, a complaint was received by HSE from a member of the public advising that the asbestos was not being removed properly.

Carlton, trading as Heathcliff Developments, was told to have surveys carried out and to arrange for the licensed removal of the material.

But when inspectors re-visited the site they found building rubble containing asbestos that had not been properly disposed off in this way.

A Prohibition Notice was immediately served to stop all work.

HSE inspectors made a third unannounced visit and found workers in breach of the Prohibition Notice.

They found two workers putting asbestos insulation board into a lockable skip and ‘dry sweeping’ the dust, which resulted in large clouds of contaminated dust billowing across the site.

Work was again stopped until arrangements were made for safe and proper removal of asbestos materials.

The court heard that although employees had been wearing disposable overalls and face masks, no other controls were in place so not enough was done to protect them from the risk of exposure.

The asbestos containing material should have been dampened down and double-bagged in special bags, before being removed by a licensed contractor.

High efficiency vacuum cleaners should then have been used to remove smaller pieces of asbestos and dust rather than a broom.

Carlton, also known as Roger Stephen Parry, pleaded guilty to 12 safety breaches at an earlier hearing.

He was sentenced to eight months is prison, suspended for two years, for the breach of the Prohibition notice. He was also fined £55,000 and ordered to pay a further £45,000 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Kevin Wilson said: “Mr Carlton showed a willful disregard for the health and safety of his employees and others.

“Our investigation uncovered a catalogue of serious errors, safety failings and a general ignorance of the laws around the safe and correct removal of asbestos.

“This was an appalling case of failing to properly plan, manage and resource this project which led to workers being exposed to risks to their health from asbestos.

“Workers who have been exposed to asbestos could have posed a health risk to others in the long term, even their families and loved ones, by taking home their contaminated clothing.”

 

Latest news

New Bovis Homes boss buys £1.24m shares

Greg Fitzgerald pitches into new job and snaps up 134,369 shares
7 hours ago

Multiplex turnover soars to record £1bn on tower boom

Pre-tax profit slips as builder's revenue jumps by two-thirds
14 hours ago

Groundworker killed by concrete drainage cover

Coourt hears how poorly planned lifting operation at school site led to tragedy
7 hours ago

Graham lands latest Manchester build to rent tower

Work to start this summer on 16-storey tower at Salford Quays
11 hours ago

BAM takes £30m Southampton Uni job

Contractor mobilses for Highfield Campus project
14 hours ago

Sisk set for £37m Sheerness steelwork clear-up

Isle of Sheppey rebar mill clearance plans advance
14 hours ago

Local construction firms demand fair crack at public contracts

North East SME group launches campaign to improve chances for local builders
14 hours ago

Small builders bullish despite rising costs

Rising materials costs and deepening skills shortages dampen optimism
15 hours ago

Roofing firms fined for skylight and snow dangers

Local contractors fined £66,000 each after workers put at risk
15 hours ago

Balfour bags southern England power line upgrade

Pre-construction works to start this year to refurbish five 132kV overhead lines
3 days ago

Atkins agrees £2.1bn takeover by Canadian group

Atkins and Fathful + Gould brands could disappear. Bosses offered £5m to stay on
4 days ago

Sellafield seeks 20-year construction partners

Procurement shake-up to see four long-term partnering deals for vast construction programme
4 days ago

First strike threat hits Hinkley construction work

Bonus row erupts just three weeks after first concrete poured
4 days ago

Construction VAT fraudster ordered to pay back £2.2m

HMRC to claim back cash from crime gang leader who set up a web of bogus building companies
4 days ago

Cemex drivers ballot on strike action

Seventy four Cemex drivers to ballot for strike action over pay
4 days ago

Willmott Dixon poaches Galliford Try northern ops boss

Operations director Andrew Hurcomb will drive expansion in Yorkshire
4 days ago

Paul Sheffield to join Royal BAM board

Former Laing O'Rourke md and ex-Kier boss joins Dutch construction giant
5 days ago

HS2 to make firms name all people involved in bids

HS2 to tighten bid disclosure rules after development partner fiasco
5 days ago

Betting Spy: FA Cup cheer for Spurs and Man City

Tottenham and Man City can land a 4/1 double while Everton look too strong for West Ham
4 days ago

BIM-ready Yorkshire builder goes under

Up to 60 job losses threatened in George Hurst & Sons administration
5 days ago

Leeds Council backs £35m Headingley stadium funding deal

June start set for new joint stand overlooking cricket ground and rugby pitch
5 days ago

Go-ahead for Oxford Balliol College scheme

Sports pavillion and student accommodation to be built around cricket pitch
5 days ago

Work up for grabs across Sussex for subcontractors

Meet the Buyer event in Brighton to highlight raft of opportunities: Register now
5 days ago

Europe’s tallest modular tower rises at Wembley

Modular construction scales new heights as final unit of 679 craned into place
6 days ago

Ardmore swoops on latest £80m Aldgate tower

Vinci understood to be have been originally lined-up for 21-storey apart-hotel job
6 days ago

Skills training plan for next generation of offsite workers

CITB set to launch courses for growing offsite sector
6 days ago

Go-ahead for £250m “triple towers” in Liverpool

Three contractors on shortlist as work set to start this Autumn
6 days ago

Fire hits London hotel under construction

More than 70 firefighters tackle blaze on roof of Ibis hotel in Ealing: Video
6 days ago

Bechtel named for HS2 contract after CH2M row

Second placed bidder Bechtel wins £170m phase two development partner role
6 days ago

Green light for Coventry 580-bed student tower

Crosslane's 19-floor Friar's Road scheme will be its first in the city
6 days ago

Contractor services