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Demolition firm fined for asbestos exposure

A demolition firm has been sentenced after knocking down a building in the Lake District containing hundreds of asbestos ceiling tiles, putting the lives of workers and local residents at risk.

IBT Contracting Ltd was prosecuted by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) after carrying out the work at a former photography factory in Staveley near Kendal during August and September 2011, despite not having a licence to remove asbestos.
 
Kendal Magistrates' Court heard how IBT had been given a survey by the owners of the site ahead of the work taking place, which stated that the building contained 166 square metres of asbestos ceiling tiles. But the company failed to arrange for a licensed contractor to remove the tiles safely, and instead released deadly asbestos fibres into the air during the building's demolition.

 

Speaking after the hearing, HSE investigating inspector Allen Shute said: "This company put the lives of workers in danger by cutting corners, and not using a licensed contractor to safely remove the asbestos ceiling tiles.

"Several houses back onto the site of the factory so local residents were also put at risk, although luckily the level of their exposure to asbestos fibres is likely to have been relatively low.

"However, the workers on the site will now have to live with the knowledge that they may develop a deadly asbestos-related disease in the years to come because of the actions of IBT Contracting."

 

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