Last year, a contractor was found guilty of potentially exposing workers and shoppers to asbestos on a busy high-street construction site because he flouted the rules on working with this hazardous material. The contractor was fined for several breaches of asbestos and construction design legislation on the Bromley High Street site. In this particular case the contractor was a private individual. An HSE inspector who investigated the case, commented that the project had not been properly planned. The project involved the demolition of a building that comprised a restaurant on the ground floor with flats above it. Three workers, whose qualifications could not be proved, were overseen by the contractor.
During the demolition, the workers, who did not recognise that the insulating boards in the restaurant’s ceiling contained asbestos and they used sledgehammers and hand-operated tools to break them up, so they were “more than likely” to have been exposed to asbestos fibres (according to the Inspector).