Date published: 4th October 2019

Breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 were committed by BES Safe Removals and Carl Wright Training Services.

BES Safe Removals Ltd, trading as 1st Choice Asbestos, pled guilty to six offences under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 while Carl Wright Training Services Ltd pleaded guilty to two offences under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the Control of Asbestos Regulations.

Norwich Magistrates ordered BES Safe Removals Ltd to pay fines and costs totalling £30,000 and ordered Carl Wright Training Services to pay fines and costs totalling £880.  Both companies were also required to a pay victim surcharge.

On the 5 and 6 of March 2018, BES Safe Removals Ltd sent two employees to remove a quantity of asbestos insulating board from ceilings at a hotel in North Norfolk.  The removal of asbestos insulating board should only be undertaken by asbestos contractors that hold the appropriate licence from the Health and Safety Executive. It was found that BES does not hold such a licence so the Council took the company to court on behalf of the hotel.

The company failed to remove all of the asbestos insulating board from the hotel with asbestos debris being found on the joists of the hotel’s ceiling. BES then failed to follow all of the required procedures while removing the asbestos and importantly did not have adequate decontamination procedures in place for their employees.

The hotel chased a clearance certificate from BES who then sent Carl Wright Training Services Ltd to the hotel to look at the work that had been undertaken. Carl Wright Training Services undertook an assessment of the rooms in which the work had been carried out which included running a hand over the surfaces to see if there was any asbestos dust left in the rooms.  If there had been this dust would have been made airborne putting those in the room at the time at risk.  The asbestos debris which had been left on the ceiling joists by BES was not identified during this visit.

At all times the hotel tried to do everything correctly but they were badly misled by both defendant companies. In light of this both defendants entered not guilty pleas at an earlier hearing on 13 June 2019.

Cllr Nigel Lloyd, North Norfolk District Council's Portfolio Holder for the Environment, said: “It takes a huge amount of time and effort to deliver a successful prosecution,  NNDC take no pleasure from taking these actions. However, the health and Safety of our residents in North Norfolk is paramount. I hope this case serves to alert people to the danger of inappropriately dealing with asbestos and acts as a deterrent to others. I urge residents to take professional advice with asbestos removal and to only use licensed operators."

Last updated: 11th October 2019