The owner of a derelict hotel, along with a contractor, have been sentenced after asbestos containing materials were discovered during the refurbishment of the building.
Truro Crown Court was told that in 2017, a property in Newquay, Cornwall, was to be partially demolished and refurbished under the control of one of its owners, Michael Cutmore.
Asbestos surveys identified the presence of materials containing asbestos but these were not managed appropriately or removed prior to the work, the court heard.
Building contractors, B and S BM Limited were appointed by the hotel’s second co-owner to carry out works in half of the property while Mr Cutmore himself also stripped asbestos from within the former hotel.
But the court heard that during a proactive inspection, the Health and Safety Executive identified that work was being carried out whilst asbestos was still in the building.
The HSE said that because of the extent of the spread of asbestos dust and debris throughout the building and the lack of adequate control measures, workers and visitors to the properties were at risk of exposure to asbestos fibres.
B and S BM Limited pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was fined £22,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,000. Michael Cutmore also pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was ordered to carry out 120 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £7,500.
Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Georgina Speake said, “Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.
“The dangers associated with asbestos are well known and a wealth of advice and guidance is freely available from HSE and other organisations.”