Employer who failed to manage asbestos faces £104,000 bill and a criminal record

An employer who failed to manage asbestos properly in his automotive workshop in Kidderminster faces fines and court costs totalling £104,000. He has also received a 12 month suspended prison sentence.

Peter Gerard Parkes was found gulty

Peter Gerard Parkes of Morville, Bridgnorth was aware that asbestos was present within the premises. He had previously prepared asbestos management plans. However, these were not reviewed or updated. He did not monitor the condition of the asbestos or manage the risk of any exposure to it.

Kespar Engineering Ltd of Stourport Road, Kidderminster, which Mr Parkes owns, pleaded guilty to breaching the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. The company was fined £51,000 and ordered to pay costs of £30,000.

Mr Parkes also pleaded guilty to several counts under Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was given a 12 month suspended prison sentence. He was also fined £9,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,000.

Dutyholders must actively manage the asbestos in their premises

The owners of buildings which contain asbestos, and the people who employ anyone who works there, are called dutyholders. HSE inspector Sarah Reilly, said: “It is important that all dutyholders, including company directors, recognise the importance of actively managing asbestos containing materials in their premises. They must ensure that the potential risk to health is controlled.”

ZeroAsbestos is the way forward

Neil Bishop, the manager of Asbestos Support Central England, said, “People often tell us that they, or their employers, didn’t know how dangerous asbestos can be. Even for small firms with only one director, ignorance of the law is no excuse. There is lots of information on the HSE website about how to manage asbestos and the risks that it causes.

“The safest thing to do would be to remove asbestos from all commercial buildings as soon as possible. Then business owners would not have to worry about keeping on top of it, or “actively managing it” to use the HSE’s term. That’s why ASCE is campaigning for zero asbestos.”

You can find out more about this case here.

Photo by Geoffrey Moffett on Unsplash