Norfolk firm fined after asbestos found in Great Yarmouth skip

A Norfolk company has been fined after failing to manage asbestos removal work at a renovation site in Great Yarmouth.

Mohammed Zahid was employed in May 2009 by Azam Bros Ltd of Hunstanton to clear damage caused by a fire at two units they owned in Regent Street.

Complaints were received by Great Yarmouth Borough Council that a skip outside the premises had no cover to prevent dust contaminating the surrounding area.

Asbestos was found and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and council launched a joint investigation which resulted in the prosecution.

HSE inspectors told Norwich Magistrates' Court that Mr Zahid failed to order an asbestos survey, as required by law, before starting renovation work, was not trained in asbestos removal and did not possess the required licence.

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Mohammed Zahid, 33, from Wilbraham Road in Manchester, was fined a total of �1,000 after being found guilty of breaching the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and ordered to pay costs of �500.

Azam Bros Ltd admitted breaching the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and was fined �2,500 and ordered to pay costs of �2,500.

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After the hearing, HSE Inspector Peter Nickerson said: 'Before anyone undertakes any construction work they must consider whether asbestos may be present and take the precautionary steps such as carrying out an asbestos survey.

'Most work with asbestos requires a licensed contractor to remove it safely and responsibly.

'Azam Bros Ltd obtained three estimates to renovate the units before employing Mr Zahid. One of the quotes highlighted what work may be needed if asbestos was identified but this did not prompt the company to take any action.'

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