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Suspended prison sentence follows failure to implement safe working practices for asbestos removal

06 February 2020

Lincolnshire Magistrates' Court has issued a suspended prison sentence for a demolition services provider that failed to implement plans for the safe removal of asbestos prior to removing a farm building in Lincolnshire.

The case serves as another reminder to the FM sector for the need to follow the correct procedures at all times, particularly where asbestos containing materials (ACMs) have been identified.

In the case in question, the contractor was found to have received the relevant training for the removal of non-licenced asbestos and had also submitted a plan to remove asbestos sheets prior to demolition work beginning.

However, it was subsequently found that the plan had not been followed and this was not present on site, resulting in asbestos sheets being broken up and remaining on site.

Barry Pratchett, trading as BSN Demolition, of Wragholme, Louth, submitted a plea of guilty to contravening Regulations 7(2), 11(1) and 12 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 at the hearing.

He received a sentence of 12 weeks' imprisonment, suspended for one year, and was ordered to pay costs of £1,000.

HSE inspector Stuart Whitesmith issued a statement after the hearing emphasising the importance of recognising the need to identify and deal with asbestos correctly.

"Asbestos-related disease still kills around 5,000 workers each year," he said.

"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," said Mr Whitesmith.

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