Kent Firm Fined Over Asbestos Management Failures

Expert Reveals Concern Over Case


A Kent company’s fine in relation to asbestos management failures has highlighted the importance of dealing with the deadly material in the correct manner, according to an expert at Irwin Mitchell.

Berry Estates Development Ltd and Bernard Berry, the director of the company, have been fined over an incident in April 2010 when two Health and Safety Executive inspectors visited a church in Snodland which the firm was demolishing.

Debris containing asbestos was found on pavements on both sides of the building, potentially putting members of the public at risk. In addition, Mr Berry could not provide evidence that an asbestos survey or the necessary risk assessments had been completed.

A further investigation also suggested workers were not provided with vital protective equipment and that no plans were in place to reduce the spread of dust.

Caroline Pinfold, a London-based Partner in Irwin Mitchell’s specialist asbestos disease team, said the details released on the case were deeply concerning.

He said: “Any construction firm involved in the demolition of buildings should always carry out the necessary surveys in order to ensure both workers and the public are not placed at unnecessary risk.

“All companies involved in this type of work need to pay full and proper attention to the issues the case has raised and ensure every step is taken to avoid any exposure to the deadly material.

“Asbestos is the biggest occupational killer of all time and it is simply unacceptable that any workers or members of the public should be put at risk due to someone else’s failings.”