Unqualified and unsafe asbestos removal landed Richard John Knight in the Christchurch District Court last week for sentencing. Mr Knight was unlicensed for an asbestos demolition job carried out on a Riccarton building in February 2017.
The sentencing is the first of its kind under new asbestos regulations and relates to strict new rules around licensing.
While the worker did have experience in the construction industry and in demolition, he was not licensed to manage the removal of asbestos. Nor had he obtained the required certification for the work he completed.
“Mr Knight required a Class A removal license for the job – but instead of ensuring a competent person was engaged, decided to flout the law” said WorkSafe’s Head of Specialist Interventions, Simon Humphries.
WorkSafe’s inquiries found that in addition to not being licensed for the job he completed, he also failed to safely manage the risk of asbestos in the demolition of the house. This included failing to decontaminate equipment used in the demolition and failing to wear appropriate protective equipment. He also allowed other people to enter the house unprotected.
Mr Knight also deceived the building owners into thinking he was licensed to complete the work.
“Asbestos is an extremely dangerous product and we have regulations in place for a reason - to keep workers and the public safe. This worker was deceitful and dangerous and we don’t need these sorts of people working in the construction industry” Mr Humphries said.
Browse by Category