Suspended Jail Sentence Following Asbestos Exposure

Leeds Trader Exposed Household And Workers To Potentially Dangerous Levels Of Asbestos Fibres

24.03.2015

A Leeds trader has been handed an eight month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, following a breach of Health and Safety regulations that led to a household and workers receiving exposure to potentially dangerous levels of asbestos fibres.

Clive Raper, 49, trading as Bramley Asbestos Removals, removed asbestos insulating board from the garage of a couple's home despite knowing he did not hold the correct licenses to do so.

Mr Raper hired workers to assist with the works, but failed to implement any of the safety measures required to protect them, or the environment, when working with asbestos.

A protective enclosure, full-face respiratory equipment, negative pressure units and specialist vacuums are all required for licensed asbestos removal. As these were not used, asbestos debris and residue was left behind after the works were carried out.

The homeowners contacted Leeds City Council after they became concerned over the poor standards of the removal work, and reported the matter to the HSE.

Leeds Magistrate Court found Mr Raper guilty of breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1964 and the Control of Asbestos Regulations. He was handed the suspended sentence and ordered to pay additional costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Paul Yeadon said: "It is appalling that a trader who is fully familiar with the restrictions governing asbestos wilfully ignores them and puts a household and the workers he has hired in danger.

“It would appear that he has put profit ahead of the health and well-being of others, and in this case quite bafflingly, he put his own health at risk as well. This kind of work must be carried out by competent people with the necessary licence to do so."

If you or a loved one has been affected by an asbestos related illness, our solicitors can help you to claim compensation. See our Asbestos Claims page for more information.

Expert Opinion
The dangers of asbestos are widely known, yet this is a shocking case in which an employer was fully aware of the risks and failed to put provisions in place to protect himself, his workers and others.

"We have seen on too many occasions the terrible impact that asbestos exposure has on so many lives. It is unacceptable that companies are prepared to put lives of their workers at risk in and cut corners in this way. All companies which come into contact with asbestos have a duty to ensure that the key safety regulations around its handling and management are complied with. The consequences of failing to do so are matters that we deal with every day on behalf of asbestos victims and their families."
Ian Bailey, Partner