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2015 Heating engineer guilty of asbestos failing


A self-employed heating engineer has been fined for failing to protect homeowners from the risk of asbestos…

Karl Locher, a self-employed heating engineer, has been fined after removing asbestos lagged pipework without taking the necessary precautions.

The case, which was brought before Trafford Magistrates’ Court, outlined how Locher had removed pipework in a domestic property without undertaking the correct precautions to prevent exposure to asbestos fibres.

Locher was hired to install a new heating system. He removed the pipework, which was lagged with asbestos, using an electric saw. The pipework was then carried through the property on to the driveway of the property, potentially exposing himself and the household to asbestos fibres.

Locher admitted he had not received any asbestos awareness training. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told the court had he received this training he would have been able to recognise the lagging was asbestos and could have taken measures to remove it safely.

However, the pipes were removed with no precautions to prevent himself or others in the household from being exposed. As a result the house where he was working had to be decontaminated thoroughly before the homeowners were able to move back in.

Locher pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. He was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,000.