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Cinema Director Fined in Asbestos Case

December 4, 2015
Health and Safety

The sole director of a Hertfordshire cinema company has been fined £11,600 and ordered to pay £7,000 in costs after workers and members of the public were exposed to asbestos debris.

James Hannaway of the Alpha Cinema (St Albans) Limited, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, Regulation 5 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and Regulation 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 at Stevenage Magistrates Court.

The case related to the refurbishment of a derelict cinema in 2010. The company neglected to commission an asbestos survey, despite the age of the building. Members of the public were then exposed when they were engaged by the owners to remove debris from the site six months prior to a survey being undertaken.

When contractors were finally engaged to look at the building in October 2012, they discovered asbestos materials and recommended that the area should be sealed off. Despite this advice, Mr Hannaway continued to show people the ongoing works until the case came to the attention of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Paul Hoskins from the HSE said: “We take these potential disturbances very seriously. This is another example of a company failing to carry out the required asbestos checks before refurbishment work starts. A survey is required to ensure asbestos is identified and removed to prevent inadvertent disturbance.”