Unsafe Asbestos Removal Leads to Suspended Sentence
by Connor Burke
Barry Patchett, owner of BNS Demolition, was given a suspended sentence from Lincoln Magistrates court last week for failure to appropriately manage the removal of asbestos during demolition works on a former pig shed on Caenby Corner, Lincolnshire.
Mr Patchett, sentenced for failing to reduce the spread of and exposure to asbestos, didn’t remove the asbestos containing materials (ACMs) from the site before beginning his work. This then meant that the ACMs were subsequently broken up into significant quantities over the demolition site which then exponentially increased the risk of spreading asbestos fibres.
The investigation, led by the HSE, determined that both Patchett and BSN Demolition had been given the correct training on to how to spot and remove non-licenced asbestos materials they may come across and had even included removing asbestos sheets manually prior to demolition in their plan of work, which he chose to both not follow and not keep a copy on site for workers to follow at the time of demolition.
After pleading guilting to contravening Regulations 7(2), 11(1) and 12 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, he was subsequently sentenced to two weeks imprisonment, suspended for one year, and ordered to pay costs of £1,000. Speaking following the hearing, HSE inspector Stuart Whitesmith, said: “Asbestos-related disease still kills around 5,000 workers each year. Asbestos is not just a problem of the past; it can be present today in any building or industrial process plant built or refurbished before the year 2000.”
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