Construction firm fined after workers illegally removed asbestos while refurbishing student flats

A construction firm has been fined after its workers illegally removed asbestos while refurbishing a block of student flats. Sal Construction Ltd had been contracted to carry out the work at Darbishire House in Upper Brook Street, Manchester, between May and June 2021.

Manchester Magistrates Court heard that the project involved providing bathrooms for all rooms and constructing two studio flats. Workers built two show rooms on the ground floor before moving on to the top floor, which was stripped back to brickwork.

During this work, asbestos pipe lagging was removed, and debris spread across the site and in and around the skip in the yard area. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the work was carried out by five or six employees under the supervision of Sal Zardooi, the sole director of the company instead of a licenced asbestos removal contractor.

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Sal Construction Services Limited of Finney Lane, Heald Green, Cheadle pleaded guilty to breaches of Section 2 (1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The firm was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,133.45.

Salar Zardooi, also of Finney Lane, Heald Green, Cheadle pleaded guilty to breaches of Section 2 (1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, by virtue of 37(1) of the Act. He was sentenced to a community order of 200 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £2,007.75.

Speaking following the hearing on Tuesday (June 7), HSE Inspector David Norton said: ”These risks could so easily have been avoided by acting on the findings of the asbestos survey and carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

MEN – Stockport