A care home company has been fined after it failed to ensure asbestos was removed from old buildings before demolition work.

It follows a complaint last spring from a member of the public living close to the former hospital site on Hospital Hill, Chesham, Buckinghamshire.

Health and Safety Executive inspectors found the former Chesham Community Hospital buildings had been partially demolished by a contractor. But client, Chesham Care, which was legally acting as the ‘principal contractor’, had failed to ensure asbestos containing materials were removed prior to demolition.

High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court heard Chesham Care was acting as the ‘client’ for the project, but as it had failed to appoint a principal contractor/construction design and management co-ordinator in writing, by law it had assumed the associated legal duties and roles.

Inspectors found the works had been going on for around 2-3 months and observed asbestos containing materials among demolished building debris.

The court also heard the firm had failed to record demolition arrangements in writing, the site was not securely locked and no welfare facilities were present on site.

Chesham Care admitted multiple failures of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007 and was fined a total of £35,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,321.60.