Poundland Fined Following Asbestos Mismanagement
by Connor Burke
Poundland were recently fined £565,000 following multiple cases of asbestos mismanagement in their Ipswich store between 2011 and 2018.
Before they took over what was a former Woolworths store in the town the business had organised for a survey to take place on the site and this then found numerous asbestos types all over the building. Following this the retailer arranged for consultants to return annually and monitor these discoveries but Poundland did not have “proper asbestos management plan for staff and visitors” according to Ipswich Borough Council during the hearing at Ipswich Crown Court. This meant that they did not have any precautions in place to make certain that the asbestos was kept to secure locations only as is required by law.
The portfolio holder for community protection and health for the council, Alasdair Ross said “This case shows how important it is for even the largest businesses to take seriously their legal requirement to manage asbestos in premises they use.” They continued “In cases of serious and long-standing failure, where identified shortcomings are not corrected in a timely manner, Ipswich Borough Council will take enforcement action, even if that means bringing a criminal prosecution.”
Following the hearing a spokesperson for Poundland released a statement saying, “While the breaches in Ipswich largely occurred when Poundland was under different ownership, it goes without saying we’re sorry for what happened.” They also said, “In terms of asbestos management, Poundland now has significantly different protocols and monitoring today with robust plans for any location that requires them.”
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