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Demolition firm fined £45,000 for endangering workers and public

AA Construction (London) Ltd has been fined £36,000 plus £9,159 in costs after local residents complained of asbestos on the site and debris falling onto a road and footpath near a local school, according to the HSE.

Residents complained that asbestos materials were littering the site, while the HSE found that inexperienced labours were carrying out demolition work.

The work, at Quintin Avenue, near Wimbledon Chase tube station, is said by the HSE to have been improperly planned in early February 2011.

After the resident’s raised concerns, the HSE was notified and served three enforcement notices relating to unsafe practices, forcing the site to be closed pending urgent improvements.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard on Thursday that an HSE investigation found that numerous precautions should have been taken in making the site safe.

Among these were an asbestos survey, a health and safety plan and a plan of demolition to ensure the buildings came down safely.

Workers were also found to be insufficiently instructed, trained or supervised to carry out demotion and asbestos removal work.

HSE inspector Helen Donnelly applauded the actions of the public, and said AA Construction’s approach was “reckless”.

“Construction projects need to properly planned and safely managed by competent personnel using the right procedures and equipment,” it added. “That clearly didn’t happen here, and I hope lessons have been learned.”

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