AN INDUSTRIAL property owner exposed untrained workers to asbestos following a series of failings at a building in Newport, a court heard.

In a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive, Caerphilly Magistrates’ Court heard Nasimul Karbani, 53, from West Drayton, Middlesex, employed two workers and helped them to remove rubbish and debris from a site at Bankside Coverack in Newport, which he part owned.

The debris included asbestos insulation board, which prosecutor Steve Richardson said was cleaned up in an unsafe manner and without the proper equipment required for dealing with asbestos.

A HSE investigation found that Karbani did not hold a licence to deal with the blue and white asbestos and the men he hired were not properly trained or equipped, and were not decontaminated following the work.

Matthew Cobb, defending, said Karbani was working in the yard ‘not to make a quick buck’ but to clear it so the inside of the building could be used by a licensed contractor.

He said the building, which had fallen into disrepair and became a squat for the city’s homeless, had been ripped up, with squatters tearing up the boards containing the asbestos and throwing them into the yard.

Magistrates were told that Karbani did not carry out a proper assessment of the risk of exposure to asbestos fibres and its condition in the building before work started.

In addition, Karbani failed to prevent the exposure of his employees to asbestos, and failed to control its spread during the clean up.

Chairperson of the bench Clive Hughes told Karbani: “I want to make you aware that these four charges in front of us could each have made you liable for up to £20,000.

“I want to emphasise that the charge of exposing your employees to asbestos is very serious.”

Karbani pleaded guilty to four separate breaches of the control of asbestos regulations and was fined a total of £3,000 and ordered to pay £3,015 in costs.