A social club in Stockton-on-Tees has been fined thousands of pounds after it decided to remove asbestos insulation boards itself, rather than hiring a licensed removal company.
Elm Tree Social Club pleaded guilty to four offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and must pay a fine of £1,200 and costs of £800, as well as a £30 victim surcharge. The alarm was raised after an anonymous complaint to Environmental Health was made back in 2013. Officers then visited the club to investigate, and found that asbestos was still on the ceiling, reports gazettelive.co.uk.
The club was ordered to hire a licensed firm to clean the area and conduct air tests to ensure all the asbestos fibres were gone. Representatives of the club said they believed that the correct procedures were carried out at the time, reports thenorthernecho.co.uk.
Councillor Steve Nelson, Stockton Council’s cabinet member for housing and community safety, noted that the council will “deal robustly” with anyone who does not remove asbestos safely.
“Asbestos is a dangerous material which, in certain situations, can cause long-term health problems if it is not removed and disposed of correctly by licensed professionals,” he stated. “In this case Elm Tree Social Club failed to ensure the health and safety of their employees.
“They also failed to document a risk assessment, a written plan of work and did not notify the enforcing authority, which in this case was the council.”