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Bolton Night Club Owner Sentenced for Asbestos Failings

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A Bolton night club owner has been sentenced after he admitted failing to carry out a survey for asbestos prior to starting on the refurbishment of a local night club.

Manchester Magistrates’ court heard how UK Night Life Limited and its only director, Charles John McGrath, undertook the management of a refurbishment project between August 1 and 12, 2015 on The Level nightclub, Mawdsley Street, Bolton without an experienced contractor in place to manage the site.

Around 20 workers were potentially exposed to deadly asbestos fibres so that the club could open in time for Fresher’s week and an influx of students to the club.

The site first came to the attention of the Health and Safety Executive in August 2015 after a complaint from Bolton Council regarding unsafe construction works throughout the site.

The HSE inspector served a total of three Prohibition Notices and two Improvement Notices, as well as a Notification of Contravention for a foreseeable risk of asbestos exposure, a lack of competent site manager, risks of falls from height, unsuitable welfare facilities and inadequate fire safety precautions.

Sole director of UK Night Life Limited, Charles McGrath, of Mawdsley Street, Bolton, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and Regulations 5(a) and 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, and was fined £5,720.00 with costs of £3,535.86.

In his summing up, District Judge Sanders said that Mr McGrath had chosen to rush through the works with unqualified and inexperienced people running the site on a daily basis. He added that it was clear that these offences amounted to a ‘degree of cost cutting at the expense of safety’.

HSE inspector Matt Greenly commented after the case: “Mr McGrath totally failed in his duty to protect his workers, subcontractors and anyone else accessing this site from a foreseeable risk of serious harm. Asbestos related diseases are currently untreatable and claim the lives of an estimated 5,000 people per year in the UK.”

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BDC 317 : Jun 2024