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‘Careless’ contractor fined for unlicensed asbestos removal

A building contractor has been sentenced for carrying out unsafe asbestos removal work without a licence during a garage conversion.

Mohammad Arshad had been appointed by the homeowner to complete the work at the property in Chadderton in Oldham, Greater Manchester.
In December 2017 a member of the public notified the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after materials potentially containing asbestos were left outside the property. 
The material was tested by the HSE during a site visit and found to be asbestos insulating board. 
Its investigation found Arshad had stripped the garage ceiling and removed the material, leaving debris on the site, though he was not licensed to do so. 
He had failed to put control measures in place to prevent exposure to and spread of asbestos fibres. 
The HSE issued a prohibition notice and sealed off the area, before it was cleaned by a licensed contractor under controlled conditions.
Arshad pleaded guilty to breaching regs 11(1) (a), 8(1) and 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations. 
He was fined £1,200 at Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court and ordered to pay costs of £1,000. 
After the hearing HSE inspector Laura Royales said: “Asbestos is a class 1 carcinogen which is responsible for around 5,000 deaths per year [in the UK]. 
“Prior to starting work on the property Mr Arshad should have had an asbestos survey carried out by a competent person. He should have then appointed a licensed contractor to remove the asbestos containing ceiling under controlled conditions. Instead he carelessly removed it himself, potentially putting himself and others at risk of exposure.”


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