A construction company based in Kent has been prosecuted over poor working conditions at a building site on Chobham Road, Woking. Daniel Lautier, managing director of the company ICG Construction Management Services Ltd, was also involved in the proceedings.
The case was brought against the company and director after a Health and Safety (HSE) inspector who was passing the site witnessed a number of safety breaches of work being carried out on a partly demolished house.
The inspector, who had been driving past the site in June of last year, saw workers working at a height of six or seven metres, standing on the edges of the part demolished buildings with no protection or fall prevention measures in place. In addition to the lack of safety measures, roof tiles and masonry had been thrown from the building during the works.
The HSE proceeded to serve the company with a prohibition notice so that no further work could take place until an asbestos survey had been completed. The survey showed that there was asbestos on site.
Had the demolition work continued, the asbestos would have been disturbed and posed a significant risk not only to the workers on-site but also those living in neighbouring homes and passers by.
Exposure to asbestos can cause a number of terrible conditions including asbestosis, pleural thickening and mesothelioma, an incurable cancer. Only a very small amount of exposure to asbestos is needed to put a person at risk of developing mesothelioma and so correct procedure in demolition work is vital.
Mr Lautier admitted two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 while ICG Construction Services admitted one breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 along with a breach of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. Mr Lautier was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay costs. There was no separate ruling for the company.
Any building constructed before 2000 could contain asbestos and so it is vital that when carrying out any home improvements or before demolition work is carried out the correct procedure is followed. HSE inspector, Russell Beckett investigated this case and said,
“Demolition of a property requires planning and that includes a survey to establish whether asbestos is present.”