Asbestos exposure risk overlooked by lack of survey

Pascal Huser Design & Build Ltd, a residential property development company, has been fined after failing to carry out an asbestos survey prior to undertaking extensive refurbishment works.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told how, on and before 6 December 2017, the company undertook construction work at a property in Fulham, London. It failed to carry out an asbestos survey for the property, which was uncovered during a routine HSE inspection.

The subsequent HSE investigation found the company removed a boarded asbestos ceiling without taking any precautions to prevent workers being exposed to the health risk. This happened because the company failed in its duty to carry out an asbestos survey for the property, said the HSE.

Pascal Huser Design & Build Ltd of Putney Bridge Road, London pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5 of Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and was fined £16,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,940.40.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Jenny Morris said: “The risk of exposure to asbestos could so easily have been avoided if the company had carried out a suitable and sufficient asbestos assessment to identify the presence of asbestos within the property prior to commencing refurbishment work.

“Companies should be aware HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”