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Dennis Flower, Editor

Birmingham builder fined for illegal asbestos removal

The Health and Safety Executive has prosecuted Mr Nicholas Sharpe, trading as Sharpe Builders, after he illegally removed and broke up asbestos panels from a home in Castle Bromwich.

Solihull Magistrates’ Court heard that HSE inspectors visited a house on Rover Drive on 19 July 2012, following a call from a Solihull Council Environmental Health Officer about possible unlicensed asbestos removal work.

A HSE investigation found that, during work to covert a garage into a living room, Mr Nicholas Sharpe, of Rover Drive, Castle Bromwich, had been wearing only a dust mask for protection as he removed a number of Asbestos Insulating Boards (AIBs) from the ceiling.

He broke these into pieces and put the uncovered panels on the householder’s driveway.

Mr Sharpe had no plan for the work and had not acquired a survey of the building, so did not know that the material was asbestos. He also did not provide any information to the householders.

The court was told Mr Sharpe did not hold the necessary licence to remove the asbestos boards, and failed to take adequate steps to prevent both the exposure to and spread of asbestos fibres generated by his work.

These control measures are required by law to protect the health of workers and the general public from potentially harmful levels of airborne asbestos fibres.

Mr Sharpe pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. Mr Sharpe was fined a total of £4,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,100.

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