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Jailed after exposing refurb workers to Asbestos

Two Stoke-on-Trent brothers with little experience of construction have been  jailed after they exposed workers to asbestos.

At least seven workers are known to have been exposed to asbestos - one aged just 17 at the time - by Akram Hussain, 52, of City Road, and Inam Hussain, 47, of Boughey Road, during refurbishment work at a former print works since February 2012.

Stafford Crown Court heard that neither was qualified or experienced in construction, demolition or refurbishment work; nor were they licensed to remove asbestos.

Akram Hussain is a snooker hall manager and Inam Hussain a taxi driver, although they have been carrying out the work on the building for around ten years.

Despite repeated visits from HSE inspectors and numerous enforcement notices warning them of their failings, the brothers continued to refurbish the building and disturb asbestos material - putting workers at risk.

Several lorry-loads of waste contaminated with asbestos were removed from the site and taken to an unlicensed waste disposal site in Stoke-on-Trent.

Workers were also witnessed exiting the site covered in dust and not wearing the correct protective clothing.

Many more could have been exposed during the course of the refurbishment project.

Akram Hussain was given a custodial sentence of 22 months and ordered to pay costs of £43,000.

Inam Hussain was given a custodial sentence of 14 months.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Lindsay Hope said: "The Hussains have shown a willful disregard for the health and safety of workers and others.

"Our investigation uncovered a catalogue of serious errors, safety failings and a disregard of the laws around the safe and correct removal of asbestos.

"This was an appalling case of failing to properly plan, manage and resource this project, which led to workers being exposed to risks to their health from asbestos."

 

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