Fines issued following long-term asbestos exposure
10 January 2017
Fines totalling more than £200,000 have been handed down by Basildown Crown Court to two companies after hearing employees were exposed to asbestos for a number of years.
Although Connect Packing found asbestos in a poor condition when it moved into its premises in Manor Road Trading Estate in Benfleet in 2007, the company had failed to control the risk.
This had resulted in staff being exposed to risk from airborne asbestos fibres.
The company had moved out in January 2009 and sublet the premises to Creo Retail Marketing, a member of the same group of companies, with Connect Packaging continuing to exercise some control over maintenance and repair work.
An asbestos survey was conducted by the new tenant in 2014, highlighting the risk of exposure.
However, no action was taken while the two companies debated their responsibility for its removal and the risk of exposure continued.
A subsequent investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found asbestos fibres in a number of areas within the Manor Road Trading Estate site.
As a result, substantial fines and costs were awarded against both companies.
Connect Packaging, registered at 91 Soho Hill, Birmingham, was fined £65,000 with costs of more than £8,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 4 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc, Act 1974.
Creo Retail Marketing, registered at 350 Euston Road, London, was fined £150,000 with costs of more than £80,000, after pleading guilty to breaching Sections 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc, Act 1974.