COUNCIL housing firm 2010 Rotherham LTD has been ordered to pay more than £10,000 after allowing a plumber to be exposed to up to 50 times the legal limit for asbestos.
Rotherham Magistrates’ Court heard that the company employed a sub-contractor, Nugas of Barnsley, to remove an old bathroom and install a level-access shower room at a house in Orchard Place, Masbrough.
Despite an asbestos survey carried out for 2010 Rotherham Ltd on a similar property next door seven weeks earlier that highlighted the presence of asbestos in the bathroom, the results were not passed on to Nugas.
The result was that their worker unknowingly removed tiles bonded to a wall of asbestos insulating board, causing significant damage to the wall.
He was not wearing any protective clothing nor respiratory protection.
At the same time, a licensed asbestos removal company was in the process of removing the same wall in the flat next door after being appointed by 2010 Rotherham Ltd.
The court was told that the company had received previous advice and enforcement action regarding the risks from asbestos during refurbishment work including two enforcement notices in 2005 and 2008.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined £7,000 with £3,418 costs.