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Fri September 24 2021

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Demolition man flouted asbestos regs

24 Oct 13 A Northern Ireland demolition contractor has been fined £12,000 for breach of asbestos regulations.

Leslie Wright pleaded guilty at Downpatrick Crown Court to breaches of health and safety legislation.

The case arose when asbestos-containing materials were disturbed and spread during the demolition of outbuildings at a site at 38-44 Shore Road in Ballyhalbert between 21 and 25 July 2011.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) found that Leslie Wright had not carried out a pre-demolition survey.

An asbestos management survey carried out by the site owner had identified asbestos cement to be present or presumed to be present on the roofs and other parts of the outbuildings. It also identified asbestos cement debris on the floors and in the areas outside the outbuildings.

However, the system of work used by Leslie Wright in the demolition of the outbuildings was not safe and fell short of acceptable work practices, the court heard. There was neither a risk assessment nor a written plan of work for the removal of asbestos on the site.

The method used in the demolition of these outbuildings was such that dust containing asbestos fibres was released into the air. In addition, the rubble which was created by the demolition was found to be contaminated with asbestos.

After the hearing, HSENI inspector Denise Donaghy said: “There is no safe level of asbestos and the correct procedures for working with asbestos-containing materials are long established. It is a legal requirement that these procedures and control measures are put in place to prevent the spread of and exposure to asbestos.”

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