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Construction firms fined over Asbestos exposure

Two Construction firms have been fined a total of £112,000 and ordered to pay costs of just under £57,000 following workers being potentially exposed to asbestos during school holiday works at Oakwood Junior School in Derby.

The incident happened when the workers were removing ceiling tiles within a storage room during a refurbishment project at the school, not knowing that the tiles contained asbestos (a Class 1 Carcinogen). Thankfully, concerns were raised to the management on site by a Licensed Asbestos Removal Contractor who were also working on the school and works were stopped.

Following an investigation, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Ashe Construction Limited, Principle Contractor for the works, had failed to effectively –

  • plan, manage and monitor the works;
  • communicate information about the asbestos that was present;
  • restrict access to the storeroom or use appropriate signage to warn of the asbestos

Ashe Construction Limited were fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,759.76 after pleading guilty to breaching both the “Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (Regulation 13(1))” and the “Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (Section 3(1))”.

In addition, Cladceil Limited, the contractor appointed by Ashe Construction Limited to carry out the ceiling removal works, were found to be in breach of the “Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015” (Regulation 15(1)) after subcontracting the work to another company to remove the ceilings on their behalf and providing risk assessments & method statements which failed to highlight important information, such as asbestos risk.

Cladceil Limited were fined £12,000 and ordered to pay costs of £47,184.48.

In a statement from HSE Inspector Andrew Bowker he states – “The exposure to asbestos could so easily have been avoided if the two companies involved had put sufficient effort into planning, managing and monitoring the ceiling tile removal work. HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

The full HSE statement can be found here 


Quoted Legislation Links

Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 | Section 3

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 | Regulation 13  | Regulation 15

If you need some additional help with Health and Safety, then get in touch with the Orchard Compliance Solutions team on 0800 118 1674 or

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