Fit-out and refurbishment specialist Piperhill Construction Ltd has been fined £8,000 for stripping out asbestos without a licence.
On 25 August 2011, while carrying out refurbishment work, Piperhill Construction removed asbestos insulating board (AIB) from the stairwells of Kilbroney House, a 14 storey apartment block in east Belfast managed by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.
During an investigation, the Health & Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) found that Piperhill Construction had been provided with a survey indicating the presence of AIB in the premises.
The contractor then proceeded to remove the AIB despite not having the appropriate licence to carry out such work.
The company was yesterday fined £8,000 at Laganside Crown Court after pleading guilty to two breaches of health and safety legislation. Three other charges were left on the books.
After the hearing, Anne Cassidy, an inspector with HSENI’s major investigation team, said: “The dangers of asbestos are well known. Past exposure to asbestos fibres is the greatest cause of work related death in the UK.
“There is no safe level of asbestos and the correct procedures for working with it are long established. It is a legal requirement that contractors keep to the correct procedures to prevent the spread of and exposure to asbestos.”
(Construction index 29.01.14)