School conversion job hit by clouds of asbestos dust

Grant Prior 3 years ago

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.


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

GRAHAM lands £150m Barnet major works deal

Leisure centre and school sites kick-off five-year partnership
3 days ago

Manchester 52-floor skyscraper approved

St John's Place tower at former Granada Studios site gets green light
3 days ago

Lendlease renews site access deal with HRS

Latest monitoring technology to be used at all contractor's sites
3 days ago

Michelmersh calls end to brick price rises

Increased competition sees prices remain flat
3 days ago

Pensioner killed at poorly managed roadworks

Tarmac hit with £1.3m safety fine
3 days ago

Cleveland Bridge recruits large buildings team

Steelwork contractor set sights on large building market
3 days ago

Murphy signs contract for £25m Blackpool outfall

Work to start on UK's longest and largest diameter outfall in March
3 days ago

Construction site gas leak causes chaos at King’s Cross

200 workers evacuated from North London site
3 days ago

£28m Dudley rail centre gets green light

Very Light Rail innovation centre and test-bed track approved
3 days ago

Wates confirms Paul Chandler as new construction boss

Former Skanska chief to take up the reins in January
4 days ago

Betting Spy: Contractors on a roll at awards night

Enquirer awards after party was a long night while favourites can land a 3/1 treble
3 days ago

£20m road schemes backed for 3,300 south west homes

Quartet of road improvements will unlock 3,300 new homes
4 days ago

Barratt boss arrested in contracts probe

London MD Alastair Baird suspended following major investigation
5 days ago

Laing O’Rourke to start St James Centre £1bn revamp

Demolition of old St James shopping centre in Edinburgh to take 18 months
4 days ago

Link Group names £280m Scottish new build partners

Keepmoat, Cruden, Graham and Esh secure places on central belt framewok
4 days ago

Dormant Scottish Tesco sites get £100m boost

London & Scottish Developments to start construction on ten sites
4 days ago

Civils firms slash carbon emissions in half over six years

Laing O'Rourke, Morgan Sindall and Carillion lead the low CO2 way in infrastructure
4 days ago

Plan unveiled for £48m resi tower in Liverpool

Latest 30-storey build-to-rent tower at Liverpool Waters
4 days ago

Clugston green light for £60m Sheffield IKEA

Project is the largest retail win in the region for Scunthorpe contractor
4 days ago

Travis Perkins to close over 30 branches

Builders' merchant in profit warning to the city
5 days ago

Mace tops September contracts league with London win

£450m One Crown Place project in Shoreditch lifts contractor
5 days ago

Costain tops best-paid Network Rail supplier rankings

Network Rail spending with Costain soars 75% to £377m
5 days ago

CH2M boss Roy Hill to lead HS2 construction

Consultant boss steps in while search continues to replace Simon Kirby
5 days ago

Search starts for construction’s best photographer

Enter your best pics now for Art of Building competition
5 days ago

Top Ten winners celebrate construction success

Industry enjoys top night out at inaugural Construction Enquirer awards
5 days ago

Bidding to start for £80m Nottingham shopping centre revamp

£80m Broadmarsh shopping centre expansion comes out to bid
5 days ago

Bouygues UK drops Thomas Vale brand

Dozen staff laid off as Midlands offices consolidated into new Birmingham base
6 days ago

Benniman bags first phase of £120m business park

Main construction to start this month on 90 acre Worcester site
6 days ago

Galliford Try confirmed for £68m Newcastle student village

Construction due due start shortly on Newcastle Uni student village
6 days ago

Balfour warns exodus of EU workers will hit HS2 and Hinkley

Contractor wants clarification from Government over post Brexit labour market
6 days ago