Lancashire-based Excavation & Contracting (UK) Ltd used forged medical certificates and forged asbestos training certificates for its asbestos removal operatives over a four-year period.
Greater Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard that the forged documents had been made by the company’s asbestos operations manager, David Lloyd. The documents included medicals in the name of the company operations manager, Lee Cooper, and forged training certificates for Lee Cooper and managing director Brendan O’Halloran.
The doctor who had allegedly issued these medical certificates had retired sometime earlier to live outside the UK.
The HSE investigation found that the forged documents were used to obtain an asbestos licence from HSE. The company was unable to show that it had trained or adequately monitored workers who were exposed to asbestos.
David Lloyd, of Hanwell Close, Leigh pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 10(1)(a) and 22(1)(c) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. He was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison suspended for two years and was ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay costs of £1,000.
Lee Cooper, of Shelley Close, Huyton, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 10(1)(a) and 22(1)(c) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. He was ordered to do 80 hours of community service and pay costs of £1,000.
Excavation & Contracting (UK) Ltd of West Quay Road, Warrington, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 10(1)(a) and 22(1)(c) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. It was fined £13,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,000.
HSE inspector Matt Greenly said after the case: “Putting people at risk from asbestos by not training them or monitoring their health, as required by law, not only puts their lives at risk from an incurable set of diseases, but is also wholly unnecessary.
“There are ample affordable training providers and approved doctors who can carry out these functions at the convenience of the contractor. Taking deliberate shortcuts by creating forged documents will not be tolerated by HSE and we will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”