A Nottinghamshire property developer who pleaded guilty to exposing employees to asbestos has been given an eight-month suspended prison sentence and been ordered to pay fines and costs of £100,000.
Nottingham Crown Court was told today that James Roger Carlton, also known as Roger Stephen Parry, 64, of South Leverton, near Retford, disregarded the presence of asbestos insulation board at the site of the former King Edward VI School on London Road, Retford.
The court heard that although employees had been wearing disposable overalls and face masks, no other controls were in place so not enough was done to protect them from the risk of exposure.
Dust would have contaminated their clothes and there was no water on site to enable decontamination.
The asbestos containing material should have been dampened down and double-bagged in special bags, before being removed by a licensed contractor. High efficiency vacuum cleaners should then have been used to remove smaller pieces of asbestos and dust rather than a broom.
James Roger Carlton, also known as Roger Stephen Parry, of Meeting House Lane, South Leverton, pleaded guilty to single breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006, and 10 breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 – 12 charges in total -at an earlier hearing.
He was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for two years, for the breach of the Prohibition notice. He was also fined £55,000 and ordered to pay a further £45,000 in costs.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Kevin Wilson said: “Mr Carlton showed a willful disregard for the health and safety of his employees and others. Our investigation uncovered a catalogue of serious errors, safety failings and a general ignorance of the laws around the safe and correct removal of asbestos.
“This was an appalling case of failing to properly plan, manage and resource this project which led to workers being exposed to risks to their health from asbestos.
“Workers who have been exposed to asbestos could have posed a health risk to others in the long term, even their families and loved ones, by taking home their contaminated clothing.
“Asbestos is the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in the UK. Building owners and contractors have a duty to ensure they protect their workers from risk of exposure. Mr Carlton failed in that duty by choosing to ignore the dangers of this hidden killer.”
By Andy West