The District Court has fined a painter and decorator $35,000 for his actions in removing asbestos from a garden shed on a client’s property.  When undertaking the work the Defendant failed to notify the required Authority of the asbestos removal.  He also failed to wear any appropriate safety clothing or equipment and failed to remove the asbestos in the approved manner with plastic sheeting and a protective tent.  He also failed to control other people accessing the site during the removal process.

The asbestos removal job involved only six sheets of asbestos board. However, the failure to carry out the removal in a safe manner and restrict others access to the site during the removal process exposed others to the risk of serious harm from contamination from the asbestos.  The District Court Judge said that the fine would have been $100,000 apart from taking into account the Defendant’s guilty plea, general cooperation and remorse.  The Judge also took into account the age of the Defendant and his limited financial resources.


Alan Knowsley

Health & Safety Lawyer