Housing association fined £10,000 for asbestos breach
One of England’s largest care providers has been fined £10,000 for putting its residents at risk of asbestos exposure.
Anchor contracted a West Yorkshire company and a London sub-contractor to replace a lift at St Paul’s Court sheltered housing scheme in November 2012.
The lift shaft contained asbestos boards, which the sub-contractor removed without putting any measures in place to prevent the spread of asbestos fibres.
At Bedlington Magistrates’ Court last week, the Health and Safety Executive said 30,000-home Anchor failed in its duty to make sure there was no risk to health when the lift replacement happened, after providing an insufficiently accurate and vague survey about the presence of asbestos.
Anchor, which is based in Bedford Street, London, was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £346.40 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching construction regulations.
The two other firms, Express Elevators, based in West Yorkshire and PC Lifts, based in London, were also fined after pleading guilty to failures leading to the spread of asbestos fibres in the building.
Natalie Wright, HSE inspector, said: ‘This incident occurred because not one of the defendants fulfilled their respective duties when carrying out the lift replacement at St Paul’s Court, leading to asbestos fibres being disturbed.’
Christine McGregor, Anchor’s district manager for St Paul’s Court, said: ‘I am sorry for any distress this incident has caused. We have further strengthened our procedures and safeguards regarding the management of projects and asbestos to lower the risk of such incidents happening again. We have also improved our training for all staff overseeing the installation of lifts.’