Company Director Fined for Fraudulent Asbestos Documents
A company director has been fined £5,000 after he created false asbestos removal documents.
A 4-Stage Clearance is required by law to ensure asbestos removal work has been completed safely.
Reliable Insulations and Fibre Control Ltd were hired to remove asbestos at Abbotts Apartments, on King Street in Brighton.
The company’s director, James Pett, created a fraudulent document claiming a 4-Stage Clearance had been completed on 26 September 2021.
With the asbestos removal work at the site running behind schedule, Mr Pett opted against using an independent company to check the work had been carried out safely. Instead he fraudulently created a 4-Stage Clearance certificate, which states that the site had been properly cleaned, and was safe to reoccupy.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that 72-year-old Mr Pett had used a previous authentic test certificate to create a fraudulent document to deceive other parties into believing that the 4-Stage Clearance had been completed, allowing further maintenance work to continue in the basement.
HSE launched its Asbestos: Your Duty campaign aiming to improve understanding of what the legal duty to manage asbestos involves.
HSE inspector Russell Beckett said: “This was a reckless act by the director of a company whose sole job was to safely remove asbestos. Instead, he decided to deceive to try and speed up a job.
“Companies who are licensed to remove asbestos by the HSE are fully aware of risks associated with asbestos and the need to follow all precautions necessary to make sure areas where asbestos has been removed are safe for reoccupation, and this includes a 4-stage clearance test by an independent company.
“Exposure to asbestos is responsible for over 5000 deaths every year in the UK.
“This prosecution shows that HSE will not hesitate to take action against individuals who do not do all that they should to keep people safe.”