Asbestos removal company and director prosecuted for fraud and unsafe practices
Asbestos removal company Asbestos Boss Limited, also known as Asbestos Team, and director Daniel Luke Cockcroft have been prosecuted for the unsafe removal of asbestos across Great Britain.
Asbestos Boss Limited and Cockcroft falsely advertised as a licensed asbestos removal company. While removing licensable material from domestic properties in Great Britain, they failed to do so safely, resulting in asbestos exposure to workers, homeowners, and other people on the premises.
HSE investigation finds dangerous asbestos practices
A Health and Safety Executive investigation discovered that Asbestos Boss Limited, of London, had never been licensed.
The investigation also uncovered unlawful working practices resulting in the large-scale spread of asbestos and found that the company took little to no precautions when working with asbestos. Asbestos Boss Limited employees, the homeowners and families of the properties being worked on, and anybody on the premises while work occurred were at risk of asbestos exposure.
Additionally, Asbestos Boss Limited and Cockcroft breached a prohibition notice several times.
Manchester Magistrates’ Court rules against the company and director
Asbestos Boss Limited was also found guilty of one charge for failure to comply with a prohibition notice at two addresses that prevented the company from working with licensed asbestos materials.
Cockcroft, of Halifax, pleaded guilty to the prohibition notice charge and to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, Section 37. He was sentenced to six months in prison and ordered to pay compensation to victims.
The company is awaiting sentencing.
Stockport Trading Standards case against Asbestos Boss Limited
The company and director were also prosecuted by Stockport Trading Standards in a joint case with the HSE with charges for fraud related to business insurance documents, false training certificates, and unauthorised usage of trade association logos.
Cockcroft pleaded guilty and was convicted of fraud, along with the company. Cockcroft’s sentence is a four-month prison term. The company is awaiting sentencing.
The Stockport Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, Councillor Helen Foster-Grime, said, “Our Trading Standards team work closely with other agencies and will do our utmost to ensure offenders like this, who carry out work with no regard for the safety of our residents, are brought to justice. I am delighted that these criminals have been held to account. The message is very clear – we will not tolerate this in Stockport and will take robust action wherever possible.”
HSE inspector speaks out
Matt Greenly, an inspector for the HSE, discussed the serious risks of asbestos exposure, affirming that companies and directors are responsible for recognising the dangers of asbestos removal and protecting their employees. Greenly stated that only trained personnel who understand the risks and how to mitigate them should handle asbestos.
According to Greenly, “Asbestos Boss Limited have deliberately removed a highly dangerous material resulting in a significant risk of exposure to cancer-causing asbestos. They not only have put their customers at risk but have also undoubtedly put themselves, their workers, and their families at serious risk.”
He went on to say, “By undertaking asbestos removal work himself, Mr. Cockcroft has also chanced his own life and the life of his family by working unsafely with asbestos, despite knowing full well what the risks were.”
Greenly said that companies that cut corners for the sake of making a profit should take the Asbestos Boss Limited case as a warning, and he suggested that customers check for legitimacy before hiring an asbestos company.