Asbestos clampdown: director sentenced after workers ‘deliberately’ put at risk

A Manchester building company and its director have been sentenced after workers were exposed to asbestos.

Selcuk Pinarbasi received a custodial sentence of 20 weeks, suspended for 12 months, and received a £75,000 fine after Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors found an uncontrolled spread of asbestos-containing materials around Eye Track Limited’s premises.

Inspectors visited the site in Stretford, Manchester, in April 2019 after concerns were raised over workers unsafely working at height during the demolition of some units and the construction of eight new residential houses.

During the inspection, HSE found significant amounts of asbestos-containing materials across the site, mostly large amounts of debris associated with the breakage of asbestos-containing roof sheets from the demolished units. 

One unit taken down was estimated to contain 100 sq m of asbestos insulation board, 70% of which was demolished by hand and machinery.

‘Fully aware of the risks’

Some of the asbestos containing materials found  Eye Track Limited’s site in Stretford
Some of the asbestos-containing materials on site (Image: HSE)

A subsequent HSE investigation found the asbestos removal work was carried out under the direct control and instruction of Pinarbasi, Eye Track Limited’s director, who was fully aware of the potential dangers of asbestos.

Pinarbasi had some months earlier instructed a suitably qualified asbestos surveyor to carry out an asbestos demolition survey which had identified in detail the presence of both licensed and unlicensed materials throughout the site.

HSE said he was therefore fully aware of the risks the site posed from the presence of asbestos materials on his site before any demolition work took place.

Clampdown on asbestos exposure

Eye Track Limited, of Talbot Road, Stretford, Manchester, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £18,783.61 in costs at Manchester Crown Court on 25 April 2024.

At the same hearing, Selcuk Pinarbasi, of Bankhall Lane, Hale, Greater Manchester, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) and Section 33(1)(g), by virtue of Section 37(1), of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. He received a custodial sentence of 20 weeks, suspended for 12 months. He was also fined £75,000 and ordered to pay costs of £18,783.61.

Earlier this year, HSE launched a campaign aimed at anyone with responsibilities for buildings to do everything they must to comply with the law and prevent exposure to asbestos.

The campaign involved carrying out checks on how asbestos is managed in buildings to ensure the right arrangements are in place.

HSE inspector Phil Redman said: “This case highlights how such behaviour will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Lives were deliberately put at risk as profits were prioritised over safety during the uncontrolled demolition and removal of asbestos-containing materials.

“Eye Track Limited and its director showed a total disregard for the health, safety and welfare of workers working under their control.”

Story for CM? Get in touch via email: [email protected]

Latest articles in News