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Asbestos breaches lead to fines and ban

A Sussex based company director must pay more than £44,000 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to removing asbestos from a shop without a proper licence and without adhering to strict laws on disposal.

Robert McCart, director of two Eastbourne based companies Sussex Asbestos Solutions (South East) and Sussex Asbestos Solutions Ltd, was fined £36,000, faces £4,000 in costs and has to pay £4,000 in compensation, He is also disqualified from being a director for four years.

He was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency for breaching seven regulations under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006.

HSE inspector, Amanda Huff, said: 'Robert McCart deliberately flouted and ignored the law for financial gain. Mr McCart was aware of the dangers associated with asbestos and yet decided to risk not only his own life but also members of the public.

'The HSE won't hesitate to take action against people who flout breach Health and Safety Law and put others at risk.”

Asbestos licences are only issued to companies that are able to demonstrate that they have the appropriate training and competence in place. A list of licensed contractors can be found on HSE's web site by clicking here
Mr McCart was charged with health and safety offences following work he carried out to a shop in Gore Park Road, Eastbourne, between 17 and 19 November 2007. 

Investigators discovered he undertook the removal of asbestos insulation board at the shop without the required licence for work with asbestos, and without notifying the HSE.

He also failed to carry out the appropriate precautions and left a white sack containing broken pieces of asbestos insulation board outside the shop, and asbestos debris inside the property.

The HSE said Mr McCart's actions put members of the public at risk of exposure to potentially lethal asbestos fibres.

Ms Huff said: 'Asbestos related diseases kill more people than any other single work related illness. It is essential that when any work is carried out which might potentially expose people to asbestos fibres that only competent operatives are used and the appropriate precautions are taken.'