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Site manager gets community service over asbestos risk

A Welsh site manager has been given a two month suspended sentence and 150 hours of community service for exposing a bricklayer to asbestos.

Henry Bohlen,63, from Barry directed a bricklayer to demolish a wall that contained asbestos putting him at serious risk.

Bohlen was in Newport in May 2009 supervising a refurbishment job where a full site survey for asbestos had been carried out.

But he failed to check the warnings it gave and instructed Justin Jones, a bricklayer from Pontypridd, to manually demolish the known asbestos-containing fascia boards from the building.

Jones used a hammer and chisel to break up the board into fragments, which generated plumes of dust, releasing asbestos fibres into the air.

Jones continued working until another manager realised the danger and told him to stop. He had to undergo emergency decontamination as a result.

Architects employed by Newport City Council on the job had specifically designed the refurbishment work to avoid disturbing any of the asbestos-containing materials.

"Rather than wait for the architect's plans, consult the site survey, or if that was not available, to have taken a few minutes to check with other parties, Mr Bohlen went ahead and instructed Mr. Jones to do the work, which ultimately exposed him to the potentially deadly asbestos.

"This is something Mr Jones will have to live with for the rest of his life - wondering whether his site manager's lack of consideration might lead to him contracting a deadly disease."

 

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