• Robert Spicer

Bath Asbestos Health And Safety Prosecution

Asbestos exposure: £5000 fine

Health and Safety Executive v Geoff Thomas and Son Ltd (2014) Bath magistrates’ court, March 19

Geoff Thomas and Son Ltd, a building contracting firm, has been fined after two ofits employees were exposed to asbestos dust.

Significant points of the case

  • The company was contracted by Curo Places Ltd to replace a basement ceiling in a house in Bath.

  • Two employees used hand tools and pulled down the ceiling, which was made of asbestos board, by hand.

  • The company had not checked for the presence of asbestos. When it was discovered that asbestos was present, the employees were sent off to do other jobs without decontaminating their tools or their clothes.

  • The company had failed to make any assessment for the presence of asbestos before work was started. When the presence of asbestos was identified, the company failed to prevent its spread.

  • The company was not licensed to deal with asbestos and it failed to notify the HSE in advance of the work.

The company was fined £5000 plus costs of £637 under regulations 5 and 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, for failing to assess the presence of asbestos and failing to prevent the spread of asbestos.

A spokesperson for the HSE commented after the case that the long-term effects of exposure to asbestos materials was the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in the UK and the exposure of the two workers to this dangerous substance had been entirely preventable.

Recent Posts

See All

Health and safety and automatically unfair dismissal

UNFAIR DISMISSAL: Automatically unfair: Health and safety activities In the recent case of Sinclair v Trackwork Ltd, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) gave guidance on these issues. The facts, in s


Those who ridicule health and safety as “Elf ‘n’ Safety” and who argue for deregulation and a reduction in red tape, need to be aware of the horrific consequences of breaches of health and safety law


WORKERS: HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTECTION Employment Rights Act 1996 (Protection from Detriment in Health and Safety Cases) (Amendment) Order 2021 Section 44 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 states, in s