Kent Company ‘Asbestos Gone’ Fined £30,000 for Unsafe Asbestos Removal

A Kent-based company and its director have been fined after failing to ensure the safe removal of asbestos at two locations. The company, ironically named 'Asbestos Gone,' was fined £30,000, while its director received a £5,000 fine.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that DOV Services Ltd, operating under the Asbestos Gone brand, removed loose fill asbestos insulation during a retail unit renovation in Redhill in April 2021 without the necessary HSE licence. From 30 March to 7 April 2021, the company also removed asbestos cement sheets from the fascia of a school gymnasium and sports hall in Stanford-le-Hope, Essex. Although this work did not require a licence, the company failed to implement proper safety measures, leaving asbestos debris around the gymnasium, endangering workers, pupils, and staff. Consequently, the school had to hire a licensed asbestos contractor for a remedial cleanup.

HSE recently updated its asbestos safety guidance and launched the "Asbestos: Your Duty" campaign to enhance understanding of asbestos management legalities.

At Southwark Crown Court on 16 April, DOV Services Ltd of Bradbourne Stables, East Malling, Kent, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 8 of The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. The company was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £7,260.85 in costs. Company Director David Ryce also pleaded guilty to all charges, receiving a £5,000 fine and the same amount in costs.

HSE inspector Stephanie Hickford-Smith commented on the irony of a company named Asbestos Gone mishandling such a hazardous material, highlighting the risks posed to workers and others due to their negligence.

It’s a sad irony that a company trading under the name of Asbestos Gone could make such a shambles of safely removing such a dangerous substance. “DOV Services Ltd removed loose fill asbestos insulation, probably the most dangerous asbestos-containing material, from the site in Redhill, without having a licence to do so. It also put children and others, including its own workers and their families, at risk by failing to remove asbestos cement sheets from the school in Stanford-le-Hope under controlled conditions.

Stephanie Hickford-Smith - HSE inspector

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