Contractor to service community service over breaching WHS obligations at asbestos site

Contractor to service community service over breaching WHS obligations at asbestos site

A British contractor will be forced to complete 100 hours of community service and ten days of rehabilitation activity after breaching workplace safety regulations regarding asbestos and working at heights.

The Crown Court at Southwark heard that in 2019, a charity hired Fahadh Rasheed to convert a disused toilet block into a community meeting facility, including replacing a roof that had been damaged by severe weather.

Mr Rasheed employed unskilled labourers who were untrained in demolition work, and despite the presence of asbestos at the site, they were not briefed on asbestos safety requirements.

A member of the public brought the works to the attention of the HSE after they had observed the workers on the roof of the structure without fall prevention equipment.

The subsequent investigation revealed that there had been no refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey completed before the work had started. He had also failed to ensure his workers had the appropriate skills, knowledge and experience to undertake the work, including asbestos training.

Mr Rasheed had previously been found guilty of breaching safety regulations at a jury trial.

Following the sentencing, HSE inspector David King said: “This was a case of a contractor completely failing to grasp the importance of planning, managing and monitoring construction work to ensure the health and safety of construction workers.

“Companies and their Directors should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

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