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Ace Recycling fined £28k over asbestos removal at Co Armagh factory

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Ace Recycling (NI) Limited and sole director James McCoubrey were handed fines totalling £28,000 for health and safety breaches at Craigavon Crown Court

Ace Recycling (NI) Limited and sole director James McCoubrey were handed fines totalling £28,000 for health and safety breaches at Craigavon Crown Court

Alex Dodd

Ace Recycling (NI) Limited and sole director James McCoubrey were handed fines totalling £28,000 for health and safety breaches at Craigavon Crown Court

A company and director have been fined after failing to manage asbestos safely at a former factory site in Co Armagh.

Ace Recycling (NI) Limited and sole director James McCoubrey were handed fines totalling £28,000 for health and safety breaches at Craigavon Crown Court yesterday.

These included failing to ensure a suitable assessment was completed to identify the presence of asbestos at the site at Shaerf Drive, Lurgan.

Mr McCoubrey, director of Ace Recycling (NI) Limited, was also fined for failing to comply with a prohibition notice, served by an HSENI inspector to prevent any further work involving asbestos from continuing at the site.

Demolition work at the former factory site commenced during December 2016 and continued through to February 2017.

The court heard an independent contractor, not a licensed asbestos removal company, was tasked by McCoubrey to remove asbestos-containing materials from the site.

Suitable precautions were not taken by the contractor during the demolition process to ensure the safe removal of asbestos.

Following a complaint, a HSENI inspector visited the site on February 8, 2017.

The inspector served a prohibition notice preventing any further asbestos removal work.

A subsequent visit by the same inspector identified that the prohibition notice had not been complied with and further unnecessary asbestos contamination of the site had taken place.

HSENI inspector Kyle Carrick said: "This case highlights the importance of surveying a property for asbestos to minimise the risk of exposure to asbestos fibres from subsequent work activities.

"The risk of exposure to asbestos could easily have been avoided if a suitable and sufficient assessment to identify the presence of asbestos had taken place before commencing demolition.

"In addition, failure to comply with the prohibition notice in this case has resulted in workers being unnecessarily exposed to asbestos."

Belfast Telegraph