New Zealand Law Society - Motueka company fined for mismanagement of asbestos removal

Motueka company fined for mismanagement of asbestos removal

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Motueka company Bays Boating Ltd was fined $108,000 at the Nelson District Court on 7 February after a WorkSafe prosecution for the unsafe removal of asbestos.

WorkSafe says the company was prosecuted under sections 49(1), 49(2)(c) and 36(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

It says Bays Boating Ltd began demolition work in August 2018 on a building known to have asbestos in both its roof and walls, without safely removing the asbestos it first.

WorkSafe’s Principal Advisor for Asbestos Robert Birse says despite being aware of the presence of asbestos, the company cut corners and carried out unsafe demolition work.

“The company should have ensured there was no asbestos in the building by engaging a competent licensed person to complete the safe removal before demolition work commenced," says Mr Birse.

“The dangers of asbestos are well known by those in the industry and the wider public. It is unacceptable that Bays Boating Ltd allowed a building containing asbestos to be demolished without having the asbestos removed first.

“When it comes time to renovate or demolish buildings where asbestos may be present, people need to remember they are required to have an asbestos removal control plan in place, or they run a very real risk of exposing workers and members of the public to harmful asbestos fibres”.