The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) took Powys-based John Todd Ltd to court over the incident at Mile Oak Industrial Estate, Maesbury Road.
The firm had been commissioned to refurbish a building on the estate but when licensed asbestos removal contractors arrived on site on 18 October 2010, they found two self-employed workers and company director John Todd had already started to remove the material.
Shrewsbury magistrates’ court heard that the company had taken no precautions to prevent the spread of fibres. Asbestos insulation boards had been prised off and timber studding with broken fragments of asbestos had been placed into an unprotected skip, together with broken floor tiles which also contained asbestos.
HSE attended the site and immediately stopped all work due to the risk to those working there.
John Todd Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £10,000 costs.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Nic Rigby said: “John Todd Ltd showed an absolute disregard for the health and safety of workers on the site by allowing work with asbestos to take place fully aware it was present.
“It is well known throughout industry that exposure to asbestos fibres can cause premature death, yet this company chose to expose its workers to this risk.
“The court recognised the severity of this appalling situation today. Exposure to asbestos can kill and we will not hesitate to take enforcement action against anyone found to have worked unsafely with the material.”