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Cheltenham retailer and contractor prosecuted after asbestos exposure

03-08-2012

A Cheltenham contractor and a retailer have been prosecuted after a construction worker was exposed to asbestos during a refurbishment project.

Simon Cooper was engaged by Hutchinson HiFi and Vision Ltd. in February 2010 to refurbish an empty shop unit in Cheltenham High Street, which involved replacing a suspended ceiling.

In a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Cheltenham Magistrates' Court heard (on 27 July) that contractor Simon Cooper failed to ensure a proper asbestos survey was available before work began. As a result, workers on site, including Matthew Thompson 28, from Cheltenham, removed up to 85m of asbestos insulating board over two days on 16 and 17 February without the necessary controls or adequate protection.

The Court was also told that Hutchinson HiFi and Vision Ltd. failed to provide any client information regarding the presence of asbestos within the building. They should have ensured a demolition and refurbishment survey was carried out and the results made available to Mr. Cooper.

Hutchinson HiFi & Vision Ltd., of High Street, Cheltenham, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 10 (1) (b) of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007 and was fined £3,500 and ordered to pay £1,836 in costs. Simon Cooper, of Leckhampton, Cheltenham, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and was fined £600 and ordered to pay £800 in costs.

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