Bath building contractors exposed workers to deadly asbestos dust

A Bath building contractor exposed two of its employees to asbestos dust while working at a residential property in the city, a court heard today (19 March).

Geoff Thomas and Son Ltd allowed the workmen to demolish a basement ceiling without adequately checking for the presence of asbestos and sent the pair to work on other jobs without decontaminating their clothes when working at the property in New King Street in January 2013.

The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which prosecuted the company at Bath Magistrates.

The court heard that Geoff Thomas and Son had been contracted by Curo Places Ltd (formerly Somer Community Housing Trust), to replace the ceiling. The two employees carried out the job using hand tools and pulled parts of the ceiling – made of asbestos insulation board – down by hand.

When it was identified that the ceiling may contain asbestos, it sent the workers off to do other jobs without decontaminating their clothes or tools. It was later found the ceiling did contain asbestos.

HSE’s investigation found the contractors failed to make suitable and sufficient assessment for the presence of asbestos before work started and failed to prevent its spread.

Geoff Thomas and Son Ltd of Braysdown, Peasedown St John, Bath pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and was fined a total of £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £637.