An Essex construction company has been fined after exposing workers to potentially deadly asbestos fibres.

In July 2012, Marden Homes Ltd was commissioned to convert an office block in Witham to residential flats. The work involved removing a disused boiler and its pipes from the buildings former plant room.

During the refurbishment work, employees of Marden Homes disturbed pipe lagging which contained asbestos fibres.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the company at Chelmsford Magistrates Court after finding that it had not arranged for a refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey to be available to the workers on site.

The staff were therefore unable to identify the presence of asbestos before removing the disused boiler and associated pipework and potentially exposed themselves, and other workers, to asbestos fibres.

One of the workers involved had not received any training to enable him to identify whether the materials he was removing were liable to contain asbestos.

In 2013, Marden Homes received advice from HSE regarding the need for a refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey to be carried out prior to work liable to disturb asbestos taking place. The company also received an Improvement Notice requiring them to provide their employees with asbestos awareness training.

Marden Homes was fined £50,000 with costs of £1,413.

For more information about working with and disposing of asbestos safely please consult the Health and Safety Executive.

If you or a family have been affected by exposure to asbestos, please contact us on 0800 294 3065 where we will be able to advise and help you in the best way possible.