12 Dec 2014

$40,000 fine for failing to test for asbestos

5:40 pm on 12 December 2014

A court has fined the manager of a renovation company $40,000 for failing to test for asbestos, exposing up to 15 workers to the potentially deadly substance.

Peter Page from the Apartment Renovation Company was sentenced in the Auckland District Court today under Health and Safety laws.

WorkSafe New Zealand said a handyman Page employed raised concerns about whether there was asbestos in some textured ceilings.

It said Page had not tested them but told the man that he had, and there was no asbestos present.

WorkSafe said that was not true, and as a result up to 15 contractors were exposed to the risk for about three months - until the handyman took his own samples, which tested positive.

It said recommended practice was to treat any suspect material, such as textured ceilings, as containing asbestos until test results prove otherwise.