A PROPERTY restoration and development company in Sleaford has been fined after workers and the public were exposed to asbestos.
J Hodgson and Sons Ltd, of Carre Street, disturbed asbestos insulating board during refurbishment work at the former White Hart pub in Southgate in the town between March and June 2011.
The company placed the material in an open skip close to a busy thoroughfare in the early stages of stripping out the building.
A surveyor visiting the premises reported this to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which immediately served a Prohibition Notice stopping all work at the site until the firm employed a licensed asbestos removal company to take the material away.
At Lincoln Magistrates' Court, J Hodgson and Sons Ltd pleaded guilty to two separate breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 for failing to prevent the spread of asbestos and exposure to it. The company was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,000.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Sam Russell said: "The company first put workers' health at risk by disturbing asbestos and then that of the public by putting the insulation board in an open skip close to a busy thoroughfare between a car park and Sleaford's main shopping area.
"Asbestos-related diseases kill more than 4,000 people a year.
"Asbestos is still prevalent in many buildings and has to be managed correctly. Operatives and companies must be trained to work with this potentially deadly material to make sure no-one is put at risk."
Further information on managing risks and working safely with asbestos can be found online at www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos