Company fined £20,000 for asbestos breach

Workers stripping out old Littlewood's store in Bedford exposed.

Bedford magistrates have fined a company £20,000 for exposing workers to asbestos.

Galamast Ltd, based in Bromley, Kent, was convicted last Thursday of two breaches under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The company was carrying out a 'strip-out' of the old Littlewood's store in Bedford's Harpur Centre in March 2006 when verbal instructions were misunderstood, leading to its employees, sub contractors and health and safety inspectors being exposed to the dangerous substance.

Galamast Ltd was fined £10,000 for each breach and must also pay £16,140 in costs.

The work was being carried out on behalf of Primark which took over several Littlewood's stores during 2005/6.

The prosecution was brought by the Health and Safety Executive.