Asbestos Fine For County Durham Contractor

A County Durham man has been ordered to pay more than £2,000 in fines and costs after putting people at risk as he removed asbestos from a house he was refurbishing.

Peter Nigel Wade, of Winston Road, Staindrop, Court Durham, was working on a residential property in South Parade, Croft on Tees, in March 2015 when the offences took place.

Mr Wade, who was trading as PN Wade Building and Civil Engineering, had been contracted to convert an integral garage into a bedroom.

During an earlier site visit to arrange a quotation for the work, the owner of the property mentioned the possibility that the garage might contain asbestos.

When the garage ceiling began to collapse as he was working in a loft area above it, Mr Wade pulled down the remaining material, broke it up and put it into waste sacks. It was only when he removed the sacks that he discovered the presence of asbestos.

The Health and Safety Executive carried out an investigation and discovered that Mr Wade had not had an asbestos survey carried out before beginning any work at the property.

Mr Wade admitted breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. Darlington Magistrates’ Court fined him £267 and ordered him to pay costs totalling £1,765.

Asbestos is a natural material that was widely used in the building trade for many years, as well as being extensively utilised in industry and other areas.

Even though its use is now illegal, it is still present in many building and can cause serious and fatal illnesses including mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural thickening if tiny fibres of the material are released and inhaled.

Asbestos is responsible for the death of around 5,000 workers each year as a result of past exposure, including around 20 tradesmen every week. For this reason, some work must be carried out by a licensed contractor.

Anthony McCarthySymptoms of asbestos-related conditions may not become apparent until many years after the exposure takes place.

Macks Solicitors director solicitor Anthony McCarthy said: “It’s vital that asbestos removal is carried out to the highest possible safety standards.

“Too many people try to save money with short cuts, but it’s just not worth it. If they saw for themselves the devastation that asbestos causes so many thousands of workers, I’m sure they’d think again.”

Anthony is one of the expert asbestos lawyers at Macks who can help you recover the compensation you deserve if you or a close relative has been affected by asbestos exposure. Contact us on 0800 882 4894 to arrange a consultation.

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