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Workers were needlessly exposed to deadly asbestos dust

14-06-2012

Workmen carrying out a refurbishment at a Devon pub were exposed to deadly asbestos dust and then asked by their site manager to remove it without adequate protection.

The incident happened at the Three Crowns pub in Chagford, Dartmoor in January 2010, when the refurbishment was being carried out for St. Austell Breweries by Cowley's Building and Maintenance Ltd. and its director, Christopher Reed.

The court heard that the work took place without a suitable asbestos survey report which should have been provided by St. Austell Breweries.

As the workmen, all employees of Cowley's, began removal of an internal wall they uncovered asbestos insulation boards inside. Reed, who was in charge of the site, arranged for a sample of the board to be tested by asbestos specialists but also asked the workers to pick-up the debris from the boards.

During the demolition of the wall and the clean-up, there was further disturbance and exposure of asbestos on the site.

St. Austell Brewery Company Ltd. of Trevarthian Road, St. Austell pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 4(3) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and was fined £5,000.

Cowley's Building and Maintenance Ltd. of Queen Street, Colyton pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 6(1)(a) of the same regulations and was fined £5,000. The company also pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1)(a) and was fined £7,500.

Christopher Reed, of Higher Holcombe Road, Teignmouth, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and was fined £2,500.

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