Case from Manchester Crown Court concerning the prosecution of a letting agent and building owner for failing to carry out an asbestos assessment at Brownlow Mill on Tennyson Street in Bolton.

Several small businesses rent units at the mill and, after a contractor had raised concerns that asbestos insulation boards had been ripped out of unoccupied floors of the building, inspectors discovered that asbestos was also present in parts of the building occupied by the tenants. Although the letting agent had raised the issue of a lack of an asbestos assessment in 2006, they did not follow it up and no asbestos survey was carried out.

The letting agent and the owner both pled guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 in respect of their failure to ensure the safety of the people at the mill. The owners had also breached the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 by failing to properly assess the risks of asbestos at the site.

The letting agents were fined £15,000 (and ordered to pay costs of £11,011). The owner was fined £40,000 (with costs of £8,969).

The press release from the Health and Safety Executive is available here.