Heating engineer fined after homeowners put at risk of asbestos exposure
A self-employed heating engineer has been fined after removing asbestos lagged pipework in a domestic property with no precautions to prevent exposure to asbestos fibres.
Karl Locher pleaded guilty at Trafford Magistrates’ Court after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Locher was employed to install a new heating system in the domestic property. He removed the redundant pipework that was lagged with asbestos, using a powered electric saw. He then transported the pipework through the property and deposited it outside on the drive.
The Court heard that Karl Locher did not have any asbestos awareness training. The HSE told the court that had Karl Locher received adequate training, he would have known that lagging may contain asbestos and to avoid any work until it had been demonstrated as asbestos free or had been removed by a licensed contractor.
Instead, Locher removed the pipes with no precautions to prevent his own exposure to asbestos fibres, and the potential for other persons to be exposed. The homeowners have had to move out of their home pending thorough decontamination of the property.
Karl Locher, 48, of Minet Drive, Heyes, Middlesex, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £5,000 with £3,000 costs.