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Architects' failure risks workers lives  

An architects’ practice has been prosecuted after builders were potentially exposed to dangerous asbestos fibres during construction work at Aberystwyth Rugby Club in Mid Wales.

Aberystwyth Magistrates heard that Dilwyn Roberts Penseiri/Architects, of High Street, Newtown, Powys, failed to pass on vital information about the presence of asbestos insulation board to builders before they removed soffits from an end wall at the clubhouse in January 2012.

The situation came to light during a routine inspection of the work by a Health and Safety Executive inspector, who found remains of damaged asbestos insulation boards on the gable end of the clubhouse.

A subsequent HSE investigation found that Dilwyn Roberts Penseiri/Architects had been appointed to design and oversee the work at the clubhouse and to act as the Construction, Design and Management Co-ordinator for the project.

Although an asbestos survey was commissioned by the rugby club and sent to the architects, this was never shown to the building contractors even though it clearly identified the presence of asbestos insulation board.

In January 2012, the building contractor removed the soffits on the end wall but had not recognised the material as asbestos boards.

Dilwyn Roberts Penseiri/Architects pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3(1) of The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £5,400 and ordered to pay £2,917 in costs.

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