A court has heard that two plumbers were exposed to potentially-deadly asbestos because of failures by a two local companies.

Employees of Pilkington Plumbing and Heating Ltd were allowed to carry out removal of a back boiler and to drill a wall panel at a North Devon Homes property in Ilfracombe, after the company started work despite not receiving an asbestos survey from North Devon Homes.

The incident, on September 27, 2012, was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which prosecuted North Devon Homes for safety failings at North Devon Magistrates’ Court on 19th January 2015.

North Devon Homes Ltd of Barnstaple, pleaded guilty to a breach of Construction (design management) Regulations and was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £650.

Pilkington Plumbing and Heating Ltd, of Pilton, Barnstaple pleaded guilty to two breaches of Control of Asbestos Regulations at an earlier hearing before the same court on October 8, and was fined £1,500 with £642 costs.

HSE Inspector Barry Trudgian, speaking after the hearing, said: “As a result of North Devon Homes’ failure to provide the required information and Pilkington not waiting for the asbestos details before starting work, two workers have been needlessly exposed to asbestos.

“The risks associated with asbestos in housing stock are well-known and the regulations governing its removal are long-standing. This incident could have been avoided if Pilkington had carried out a suitable and sufficient assessment of the work liable to disturb asbestos.”

Further information about working with asbestos can be found on the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/

If you or a family have been affected by exposure to asbestos, please contact us today on Freephone 0800 294 3065, or talk to us on live chat where we will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.