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Contractor hit with 18-month community order for illegally removing asbestos

Contractor hit with 18-month community order for illegally removing asbestos
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Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team

(Last updated )

A contractor from Hartlepool has been sentenced after admitting to carrying out unlicenced asbestos removal work on a school

Sean Thomas Faulkner, 55, removed asbestos from Our Lady Lourdes School in Shotton Collery in March 2021. He had also done asbestos work several months earlier at a domestic property on Park Road in Middlesbrough in November 2020. In both instances, Faulkner did not have a licence to safely remove asbestos.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated both instances, and discovered that Faulkner had attended relevant training on how to safely remove licenced asbestos. This meant he was fully aware of the legal requirement to hold a licence.

He also failed to ensure a four-stage clearance was carried out on both jobs by a person accredited by an appropriate body, posing serious risk to residents, pupils and staff on both sites. To get around this requirement, he intentionally falsified clearance paperwork.

Pleading guilty to six charges (three charges at each location), Faulkner admitted to offences contravening the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The judge ordered him to pay costs of £1,000 and handed him an 18-month community order, consisting of:

·         15 days of rehabilitation;

·         90 days of monitored alcohol abstinence; and

·         150 hours of unpaid work

Speaking after sentencing, HSE Inspector Stuart Whitesmith said:

“Asbestos related disease still kills around 5,000 workers each year in Great Britain. It can be present today in any building or industrial process plant built or refurbished before the year 2000.

“In this case Mr Faulkner intentionally falsified paperwork necessary to ensure the safety of both workers, other staff and vulnerable members of public.

“We will not hesitate to take action where individuals disregard health and safety law such as can be seen in this case.”

The sentence comes shortly after the HSE’s launch of their Asbestos: Your Duty campaign, which seeks to heighten awareness of the dangers of asbestos, particularly amongst employers.

Part of employers’ duties involves ensuring work with higher risk asbestos is carried out by licensed contractors. Only competent workers and managers, provided with suitable information instruction and training and using appropriate respiratory and other protective equipment, may undertake licensed asbestos work.

Visit BrAInbox today where you can find answers to questions like Does our building need an asbestos survey?

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