16 May 2013
A decorating company has been fined after exposing workers and members of the public to dangerous asbestos material.
MJC Decorating and Refurbishing Ltd started removing ceilings from offices in Sentinel House at Nuffield Industrial Estate in Poole without first completing an adequate survey, Bournemouth Crown Court heard.
A Health and Safety Executive inspector on a site visit discovered widespread contamination and spread of asbestos both inside and outside the building. Some material removed as non-hazardous may have actually included asbestos-containing materials, an investigation found.
As a result of the work four employees and 14 agency staff working under the control of MJC were exposed to asbestos dust and fibres that can cause respiratory problems and even incurable lung diseases.
Many more members of the public may have been exposed during the two-week period of the refurbishment work as the staff were wearing normal work clothes when carrying out the work, which became contaminated.
After pleading guilty to three breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006, MJC Decorating and Refurbishing Ltd, of London Road in North Cheam, Sutton, Surrey, was fined a total of £45,000 and ordered to pay £36,943 in costs.
Copyright Press Association 2013