School conversion job hit by clouds of asbestos dust

Grant Prior 6 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.

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

Pay row set to escalate on HS2 enabling works site

Dispute set to intensify over rates paid by labour supplier
11 hours ago

VINCI starts work on new £100m Birmingham hospital

Contractor gets underway on three-year build programme
5 hours ago

Four civils firms scoop £2.6bn flood and coastal framework

Kier breaks into Environment Agency preferred contractors list
11 hours ago

Costain making engineers redundant at tech centre

Contractor cutting jobs at technology division it bought for £17m in 2016
11 hours ago

Dozen firms win £500m City of London deal

Morgan Sindall, Osborne and Speller Metcalfe among winners
11 hours ago

New £3m fund to improve construction procurement

Companies invited to bid for cash grants in CITB-led efficiency drive
11 hours ago

Green light for vast Nottingham Boots Island scheme

Developer Conygar plans to build a 2m sq ft mixed-use scheme
10 hours ago

Goldman Sachs bankrolls Brum’s tallest resi project

Builder Sisk can now start work on 42-storey Broad Street skyscraper
10 hours ago

SME contractors agree 2.75% pay deal for workers

Annual pay increase will see hourly craft rates rise to £12.79
1 day ago

Boost your online presence – join the Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers showcases products, services and latest stories
12 months ago

Lakehouse subbie goes after Sureserve for cash

Specialist wins adjudication award after contractor goes bust
1 day ago

Firms on alert for M4 Newport £185m enabling works

Bidders day planned ahead of July invitation to tender
1 day ago

Robertson hires Laing O’Rourke infrastructure ops director

Bryan Glass will head Robertson's civil engineering business in Scotland
1 day ago

Wates starts £24m Shoreham flood defence

Enabling works to pave way for 540-home Free Wharf scheme
1 day ago

£400m Eastern Highways Framework up for renewal

Essex County Council to invite bids for third generation framework in June
1 day ago

Countryside chief operating officer exits

Rebecca Worthington steps down as Countryside reports strong first half trading
1 day ago

Willmott Dixon chalks up £20m Liverpool nursing school

Liverpool John Moores University Tithebarn building and library to be extended and refurbished
1 day ago

Boy, 12, falls from scaffold ladder on poorly guarded site

Ten metre fall inflicts life-changing injuries on boy
2 days ago

Galliford Try profit warning sparks construction arm review

Firm warns profits will be £40m below forecasts after Queensferry Crossing hit
2 days ago

Morgan Sindall boosts north west leadership team

Growth drive sees new directors appointed in Manchester and Liverpool
2 days ago

Walter Lilly wins £55m London medical HQ project

Renew Group building specialist signs preconstruction services agreement
2 days ago

Autumn start for Mount Anvil’s largest ever scheme

Green light for 800-home Royal Eden Docks scheme in East London
2 days ago

Laing O’Rourke strategy boss joins Royal BAM

Simon Finnie steered strategy at Laing O'Rourke and Kier over six years
2 days ago

New Structure Tone division lands first major deal

Detail & Build team bags fit-out for new owners of Heron House
2 days ago

New Kier chief sets out to streamline £4bn group

Andrew Davies launches strategic review to simplify business and improve cash flow
3 days ago

McAleer & Rushe closes in on £400m turnover

Hotel specialist delivers further growth and £17m pre-tax profit
3 days ago

Construction’s most considerate sites revealed

Best performing contractors confirmed: Full details
4 days ago

Infrastructure clients lead drive to eliminate site accidents

Major push to end injuries and illness caused by seven key site risks
3 days ago

Rogue roofer found guilty of fraud

Court hears "abysmal" repairs charged at £38,000 were worth just £250
7 days ago

Engie names new UK chief executive

Nicola Lovett takes helm at UK and Ireland business in May
3 days ago

Contractor services