Last reviewed 16 March 2021

A construction company and a property management company have both been fined after failing to manage asbestos safely during a refurbishment of a former office block in Stockport.

Manchester Magistrates' Court was told that Samer Constructions Ltd had been contracted by Swift Property Management MCR Ltd to refurbish a property in the town in August 2018.

As well as items of general waste, materials containing asbestos had been discarded from the property and were spread across the roof of a one storey part of the block. Some of the materials had also fallen onto a car park area below that was accessible by passing members of the public.

On investigation, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that an asbestos survey had in fact been carried out and had identified the presence of asbestos containing materials (ACMs) including licensed ACMs.

However, this had not been passed to Samer Constructions Ltd prior to work being carried out.

Not only had Swift Property Management MCR failed in its duty to pass the survey onto the contractor prior to work commencing but Samer had then failed to identify whether a survey had been undertaken and went ahead with the work in a reckless manner resulting in two employees being exposed to asbestos fibres.

Swift Property Management pleaded guilty to breaching ss.2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974 and was fined £25,000 as well as having to pay costs of £3428.

Samer was ordered to pay the same amount of costs having also pleaded guilty to breaching the 1974 Act and being fined £12,000.

HSE Inspector Phil Redman said: "These risks could so easily have been avoided by acting on the findings of the asbestos survey and carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices."