A development company has been fined a total of £15,000 at Bournemouth Crown Court for exposing workers and members of the public to asbestos while carrying out construction work at a property in Poole.
Savoir Developments of Colchester, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5 and Regulation 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and was fined £7,500 for each offence.
The company failed to carry out a sufficient assessment as to whether asbestos might be present which potentially exposed workers and also failed to reduce the spread of asbestos on site.
Savoir Developments was also ordered to pay costs of £10,461.
The incident happened at 24 Market Street, Poole in March 2008 as the building was being converted into three residential properties.
Following concern raised by neighbours about dust from the work, a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector visited the site.
After the hearing, HSE inspector, Kathy Gostick, said: "This sentence sends a clear message that employers must check for the presence of asbestos and take measures to ensure its safe handling and removal and to avoid its spread.
"Asbestos is extremely harmful to human health and exposure to asbestos is the most serious occupational health issue in the country, with more than 4,000 people dying every year from asbestos related diseases."