A Hartlepool resident, Sean Thomas Faulkner, has received a community order for unlawfully removing asbestos from a school without the required license. In addition to this, he deliberately falsified clearance documentation following the removal of asbestos-containing materials from Our Lady Lourdes School in Shotton Collery in March 2021. Similar unauthorized work was conducted by Faulkner at a residential property on Park Road in Middlesbrough in November 2020.
Teesside Magistrates’ Court was informed that Faulkner lacked the necessary license for the safe removal of asbestos and neglected to ensure that a person accredited by an appropriate body conducted a four-stage clearance on both projects, thereby posing significant risks.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that Faulkner had undergone training on the proper removal of licensed asbestos and was fully aware of the legal obligation to possess a license.
Faulkner, residing on Berkeley Avenue, Hartlepool, admitted guilt to six charges—three at each location of the offenses. These included violations of Regulations 8(1) and 20(3) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and a breach of Section 33(1)(m) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
As part of his sentencing, Faulkner received an 18-month community order, encompassing 15 days of rehabilitation, 90 days of monitored alcohol abstinence, and 150 hours of unpaid work. Additionally, he is required to cover costs amounting to £1000.
Asbestos related disease still kills around 5,000 workers each year in Great Britain. It can be present today in any building or industrial process plant built or refurbished before the year 2000.
In this case Mr Faulkner intentionally falsified paperwork necessary to ensure the safety of both workers, other staff and vulnerable members of public.
We will not hesitate to take action where individuals disregard health and safety law such as can be seen in this case.
HSE inspector Stuart Whitesmith