Demolition Contractor, David William Briggs, has been sentenced by Manchester Magistrates’ Court after admitting illegally removing asbestos from a building he was working on.

Trading as Briggs Demolition, Briggs was found to have ignored an asbestos survey whilst demolishing the former Oakbank Trading Centre in Oldham, Manchester. In addition to this, he also failed to prevent exposure to asbestos to those working on the site.

When Briggs was contracted to demolish the site, he advised the site owners to have the site surveyed before work could begin and recommended a suitable surveyor.

However, although the site owner followed Mr Briggs’ advice and paid for the survey to be carried out, the Health and Safety Executive found that he chose to ignore the report, which identified approximately 230 square meters of asbestos materials throughout the buildings.

Asbestos must be removed safely

Mr Briggs then began the demolition of the site, without having any of the asbestos removed – posing a potentially deadly risk to others working on site. What’s more, when the HSE visited the site, Mr Brings denied there had been any asbestos on site.

When the HSE visited with scientists from the HSL, they confirmed the findings of the original survey and identified that here was hazardous asbestos in the remaining buildings.

Potentially deadly asbestos exposure

This meant that three workers were potentially exposed to deadly asbestos fibres. Not only this, but local residents and passers-by were also put at risk by the uncontrolled method of demolition.

Mr Briggs was charged with failing to protect the safety of his employees, failing to protect the safety of other persons not employed by him, failure to prevent the spread of asbestos, and one count of illegally removing asbestos materials without a license. He was sentenced to 24 weeks in prison.

Prevent asbestos exposure

Before undertaking any demolition or construction project, it’s vital that you ensure that you identify any potentially harmful asbestos materials on site and, if they are found to be present, remove them safely and effectively.

Here at Salvum, we can conduct and thorough, professional asbestos survey and, if asbestos is found, advise you on the most appropriate action to take. For further information, please get in touch.

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