Asbestos continues to be a significant threat to workers at British businesses and bosses constantly have to monitor and protect against issues arising as a result of the removal of the dangerous materials from buildings.
Many cases have been in the press in recent years where firms have neglected asbestos safety regulations when working on sites all over the country and the latest to have been caught is Absolute Asbestos.
The company was hired to take out all the asbestos insulation from a home in Camden and director Peter Horrey carried out the work himself over a period of 11 days in July 2011.
But he did so without a licence and according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), he was guilty of deceiving the householders by providing a doctored air test saying the room was safe to re-enter and prosecuted under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 as a result.
Mr Horrey has now been handed a six months' prison sentence on each charge, to run concurrently and suspended for two years, as well as 300 hours of unpaid community service.
HSE inspector Dominic Elliss, who investigated the incident, stated he was appalled by the reckless behaviour of Mr Horrey, adding: "He operated outside the safeguards provided by a licensing regime, failed to clean and decontaminate the work area and then lied to the residents of the property by providing an altered air safety test done by an analyst and informing them it was clear to re-enter."
Data from the HSE states around 4,000 people die every year as a result of breathing in asbestos fibres, which makes it the biggest single cause of work-related deaths in the UK.
In a case earlier in the year, Hazelwise was fined £40,000 and RH Property Management picked up a £15,000 penalty after both firms were found to have failed to have taken steps to manage asbestos and prevent members of staff being exposed to the hazardous material.