Tenants exposed to asbestos at Bolton mill

A landlord and a letting agents have been prosecuted for failing to protect tenants from the risk of asbestos exposure at a converted mill in Bolton.

Manchester Crown Court heard that the HSE found dozens of damaged asbestos boards stacked up at Brownlow Mill during a visit to the site.

Hazelwise Ltd owns the mill and four floors are let out to tenants by RH Property Management Ltd. A contractor notified the HSE to raise concerns that asbestos insulation boards had been stripped out of unoccupied floors at the mill, releasing asbestos fibres into the air.

Upon inspection, Prohibition Notices; one banning the removal of tools and other items from four floors of the mill in case they had become contaminated with asbestos fibres, and the other preventing access to the floors.

The inspector also found asbestos was present in other occupied parts of the mill, but nothing had been done to protect these tenants from exposure to the hazardous substance.

This underlines the legal requirement for owners and letting agents of commercial properties to carry out an assessment as to whether asbestos is present in a building, and what action is needed to keep it safe.”

Both companies appeared in court and pleaded guilty to breaching s3(1) of the HSWA 1974. Hazelwise Ltd also pleaded guilty to breaching reg.4(3) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and was fined a total of £40,000 and £8969 in costs. RH Property Management Ltd was fined £15,000 with costs of £11,011.