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Demolition firm fined for illegal asbestos removal

A Cheltenham demolition company has been prosecuted after exposing its own workers to dangerous asbestos fibres and illegally removing asbestos waste from a property in Gloucester.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted DA Environmental Services Ltd at Cheltenham Magistrates' Court today (5 Nov) for three breaches of regulations relating to asbestos removal.

The court heard HSE found the firm undertook an asbestos survey before demolishing the building showing it contained a quantity of Asbestos Insulating Board (AIB). The report identified that this would have to be safely removed in a controlled manner before demolition went ahead.

Speaking after the prosecution, HSE Inspector Andrew Kingscott said:

"Where material such as asbestos insulating board is identified, it should only be removed by a contractor who holds the necessary licence, in a safe manner and with the necessary control measures. DA Environmental should have appointed an appropriately licensed contractor to remove the materials.

"By undertaking the work themselves they unnecessarily exposed their own workers to the risks associated with significant levels of airborne asbestos fibres and failed to adequately contain their spread.

"Unfortunately, those working in the construction industry are regularly exposed to asbestos materials and the legacy of past exposures is evident in the high numbers of people in the UK who are suffering the fatal effects of uncontrolled exposures to asbestos fibres during their working lives."

Over 3000 people a year die from asbestos related illnesses in the UK. For further information, visit www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos

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