London-based construction contractor has been fined £750,000 after two investigations by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) uncovered repeated asbestos failings.
Barroerock Construction was converting a nine-storey office building in Ashford, Kent into flats in 2013 when the HSE carried out a routine inspection as part of its refurbishment inspection campaigns.
Canterbury Crown Court heard on 3 May that HSE inspectors had discovered that the company had failed to act on the findings of a refurbishment and demolition (R&D) survey, which identified asbestos in the building. As a result, 40 workers were exposed to the hazardous material during the project’s early demolition phase.
Complaints about the health and safety practices on the site forced the HSE to return to the site in June 2014. Inspectors found that while Barroerock had brought in a licensed asbestos contractor to remove the remaining materials, dangerous practices had been allowed to continue.
The company could not provide any documentation to show that the asbestos materials identified in the survey had been correctly removed. When the HSE halted building work on the site for the second time, around 160 builders were at work in the building.
Barroerock Construction of Langley House Park Road, East Finchley, London, pleaded guilty to two offences of breaching reg 22(1) (a) of the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2007 at an earlier hearing. The firm was fined £750,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,874.
The company is currently in liquidation.