Contractor John Dodd ordered to pay £20,000 in fines and costs

A refurbishment contractor has been fined after showing “absolute disregard” for protecting workers from asbestos.

Welsh firm John Todd allowed staff to carry out work on a refurbishment job in Oswestry where potentially damaging levels of asbestos were present, according to a HSE investigation.

Todd instructed the workers to remove asbestos insulation boards and timber studding with broken fragments of asbestos, despite the fact a licensed asbestos removal firm was expected on site a few days later.

Shrewsbury Magistrates’ court heard the company had taken no precautions to prevent the spread of fibres.

HSE stopped work on site and brought a prosecution against the company.

John Todd pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety regulations and was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £10,000 costs.

HSE inspector Nic Rigby said: “John Todd showed an absolute disregard for the health and safety of workers on the site by allowing work with asbestos to take place fully aware it was present.

“It is well known throughout industry that exposure to asbestos fibres can cause premature death, yet this company chose to expose its workers to this risk.

“The court recognised the severity of this appalling situation. Exposure to asbestos can kill and we will not hesitate to take enforcement action against anyone found to have worked unsafely with the material.”