Two companies have been fined a total of nearly £15,000 for putting people at risk of cancer caused by asbestos at a property in Leatherhead.

Sailsbury-based Bourne Valley Construction Services (BVCS) contracted out work to Kingsley Asbestos Services (KAS) but failed to let workers know about the presence of cancer-causing asbestos in a kitchen they were working on.

Workers consequently cut into an asbestos insulation board while cutting away damaged kitchen wall coverings in Leatherhead, Staines Magistrates’ Court heard last week.

Both companies were also responsible to arrange a survey for refurbishment and demolition of the survey, a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found.

This meant the workers did not know where asbestos was on the site, and how dangerous it was.

Asbestos used to be widely used for insulation in homes and in fire-proof vests, but is now recognised for causing mesothelioma, a cancer that often starts in the covering of the lungs.

HSE Inspector Rebekah Dunn said: “Asbestos still kills around 5000 workers each year and around 20 tradesmen die each week as a result of past exposure.

“BVCS were in control of the works and should have provided information identified in such a survey or assessment regarding the presence of asbestos to KAS as their sub-contractor.”

Bourne Valley Construction Services Ltd of Salisbury, Wiltshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13 (2) of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007, was fined £8000 and ordered to pay full costs at Staines Magistrates’ Court on March 31.

Kingsley Asbestos Services Ltd of Ferring in Worthing pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5 (1) (a) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, was fined £6000 and ordered to pay full costs.

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