Site manager sentenced after worker exposed to asbestos

A construction site manager has been sentenced after directing a bricklayer to demolish a wall that contained asbestos, which put him at serious risk.

The site manager was supervising a refurbishment; a full site survey for asbestos had been carried out, but the site manager failed to check the warnings it gave and instructed a bricklayer to manually demolish the known asbestos-containing fascia boards from the building.

The brick layer used a hammer and chisel to break up the board into fragments, which generated plumes of dust, releasing asbestos fibres into the air.

Architects had specifically designed the refurbishment work to avoid disturbing any of the asbestos-containing materials the site manager was aware of this element of the refurbishment plan.

The site manager pleaded guilty to breaching Section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at work etc. Act 1974 and was given a suspended sentence of two months. He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of community service.

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