A Hove company has been fined for breaking the law on how asbestos is removed.
Asbestos Damage Limitations Ltd, trading as ADL, removed some of the dangerous material just three weeks after being refused a licence to carry out such work.
ADL was prosecuted at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday (28 August) by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The case revolved around safety breaches when work was carried out at a property in Dyke Road, Hove, from Tuesday 2anti Friday 25 October last year.
The HSE said that it brought the case after investigating a complaint that an unlicensed contractor was carrying out asbestos removal work.
The court was told that ADL had had a licence to remove asbestos – a known carcinogen – but that this had expired in September last year.
The company applied for a renewal of the licence and had been for a renewal interview with the HSE on Tuesday 1 October.
But the HSE had refused to renew ADL’s licence based on inadequate performance.
The company, of Coleridge Street, Hove, was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £4,000 in costs after admitting breaching Regulation 8(1) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Denis Bodger said: “ADL obviously decided to ignore the fact that its asbestos licence had expired and also that the application to renew had been refused.
“Instead it carried on regardless and went ahead with work at the premises, removing a ceiling that contained asbestos insulation board.
“When ADL’s licence expired, the firm should have ceased to carry out any work with asbestos-containing materials that is required by licence.
“ADL was fully aware of what types of activities are covered and knew perfectly well that it was illegal to undertake the work they did.
“Work with asbestos requires a high degree of regulatory control. It involves working with a category one carcinogen, with asbestos-related diseases causing some 4,500 deaths each year in the UK, as well as many serious illnesses.
“When this type of work is undertaken by an unlicensed company, HSE has no ability to ensure it is done safely.
“Non-compliance with asbestos-licensing requirements is not acceptable and HSE will continue to enforce the law to protect both workers and members of the public.”