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Two companies fined for serious breaches involving the removal of asbestos

A residential property management company and a specialist installation contractor have been fined after a resident raised concerns about soffit replacement work carried out on the guttering on three blocks of flats in London.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that, Squaredeal UPVC & Renewables Limited of Rustington, West Sussex (‘Squaredeal) had been contracted by Wildheart Residential Management Limited of Ewell, Epsom, Surrey (‘Wildheart’) to replace the soffits on the blocks in a housing estate at Sutton Grove, Sutton, London.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Wildheart instructed Squaredeal to carry out the work, but failed to check whether the soffits contained asbestos. Squaredeal had the soffits analysed and became aware they contained asbestos but started to remove the soffits without adequate precautions to ensure workers and residents were protected.

Squaredeal UPVC & Renewables Limited was fined a total of £18,500, and ordered to pay £5,607.90 in costs after pleading guilty to offences under Regulations 5, 8(1) and 11(1) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

Wildheart Residential Management Limited was fined £8,000, and ordered to pay £3000 in costs after pleading guilty to an offence under Regulation 4(3) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.