UK Businessman Prosecuted for Dangerous Work Conditions


A Kent-based partner of a development company was prosecuted after dangerous conditions were found at a demolition site in Dover, Great Britain.

According to a report from The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Allan Smith was prosecuted for failing to undertake an asbestos assessment and for not securing a demolition site.


Canterbury Magistrates' Court heard that the Royal Oak Public House, Sandwich Road, Whitfield, Dover, was purchased for development. Over the next six months, Smith from ATS Developments acted as the principal contractor to demolish the building.
HSE was contacted by a member of the public who complained that the site was insecure and children were playing on the building site. An HSE inspector visited to find the pub partially demolished and the site unfenced, despite there being a public footpath running across the land.


The HSE investigation found that no asbestos survey had been carried out prior to demolition, which remained the case even after HSE sent a letter to the partners stating that a survey needed to be undertaken. An Improvement Notice was served about site security.
After the hearing, HSE's Inspector Caroline Penwill noted, “Mr. Smith did not think about the risks he may have exposed his workers and members of the public to by cutting corners.


Before anyone undertakes any demolition works they must consider whether asbestos is present and take precautionary steps such as carrying out an asbestos survey.


The site was also very unsecure and exposed local children to the hazards of a building site. What makes this case all the more disappointing is that Mr. Smith continued to work after the HSE advised him to undertake an asbestos survey.


Allan Smith, from Bowling Green Lane, Deal, Kent, pleaded guilty to Regulation 5 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and Regulation 27(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. He was fined £7,000 ($11,000) and ordered to pay costs of £7,000 ($11,000).


Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact:
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
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