Sussex company director fined after ignoring the law

An estate management director, from Brighton, has been fined after failing to manage the spread of asbestos during the demolition of a building.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Brian Marshall, 44, managing director of Supply on Demand Ltd, for breaching asbestos safety regulations.

Brighton Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday (11 June) that between the 7 and 20 May 2011, Mr Marshall instructed a worker to dismantle a building at Bluebell Business Estate, Uckfield, with an excavator. No asbestos survey was carried out before work started and asbestos containing materials (ACMs) were disturbed during the demolition.

A HSE investigation found that Mr Marshall was told about his duty to manage asbestos by Lewes District council in September 2008. He even obtained a quote in February 2011 for an asbestos refurbishment survey on another project nearby.

After the hearing, HSE’s Inspector Russell Beckett said:

“Asbestos can be difficult to identify unless you are trained and competent to do so. Before any demolition or dismantling work starts, an assessment must be carried out to establish whether asbestos is present. A survey will tell you whether asbestos is present and what to do about it.

“Mr Marshall was well aware of the need to carry out an asbestos survey but decided to carry on without one. This is a shocking case of a director who did know better simply ignoring the law.

“Up to 4,000 people a year die from asbestos related diseases. HSE will not hesitate to prosecute those like Mr Marshall who flout the law.”

Brian Marshall, of Rock Grove, Brighton, Sussex, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(3) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006. He was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,449.

Source HSE