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Workers exposed to asbestos at Redditch industrial unit

23-02-2012

A Redditch freight firm, its managing director and a Birmingham contractor have been prosecuted for putting at least 20 people at risk of lung disease from asbestos fibres.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Avon Freight Group Ltd. (AFG) and its managing director Simon Poole, together with builder Ronald McPhee, over the exposure during work to convert the unit in Hemming Road, Redditch, into a new storage centre and headquarters for AFG.

AFG's architect commissioned a survey that identified asbestos insulation board in a number of partition walls, which the company wanted to demolish, and obtained estimates for its removal from three licensed contractors.

However, Worcester Crown Court heard Simon Poole instructed builder Ronald MacPhee, who was carrying out minor refurbishment work on the premises, to carry out the work even though he did not have a licence.

Avon Freight Group Ltd, of Hemming Road, Redditch, pleaded guilty today to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £26,147 costs.

Simon Poole, of Streetly Lane, Sutton Coldfield, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £26,147 costs.

Ronald MacPhee, of West Avenue, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £500 costs.

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