Asbestos hotel lands contractor in court

Grant Prior 6 months ago
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A property owner and contractor have both been sentenced after an old hotel refurbishment job was found to contain asbestos containing materials (ACMs) on site.

An HSE picture of the site
An HSE picture of the site

Truro Crown Court heard that during September 2017 a property in Island Crescent, Newquay was to be partially demolished and refurbished under the control of one of its owners, Michael Cutmore.

The hotel had been left derelict for several years, allowing it to be subject to vandalism and squatting and had been soft-stripped by its owner.

Asbestos surveys identified the presence of ACMs, but these were not managed appropriately nor removed prior to the work.

Local building contractors, B and S BM Limited were appointed by the hotel’s second co-owner to carry out works in half of the property while Cutmore himself also stripped asbestos from within the former hotel.

During a proactive inspection, the HSE identified that the former hotel was being refurbished and partially demolished whilst ACMs remained in-situ.

Some of these ACMs were licensable products. Due to the extent of the spread of asbestos dust and debris throughout the building and the lack of adequate control measures, workers and visitors to the properties were at risk of exposure to asbestos fibres.

B and S BM Limited of Newquay pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was fined £22,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,000.

Michael Cutmore of Newquay also pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was ordered to carry out 120 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £7,500.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Georgina Speake said, “Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.

“The dangers associated with asbestos are well known and a wealth of advice and guidance is freely available from HSE and other organisations.”

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