A firm has been ordered to pay more than £130,000 for failing to deal with asbestos on board one of their ships.

Tarmac Marine Ltd was prosecuted by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency after a survey of vessel ‘The City of Westminster’ identified asbestos in pipework from its build in 2008 with a recommendation that this was dealt with immediately.

Tarmac Marine failed to act on this report and the crew were not informed of the presence of the asbestos on the 96-metre dredger.
Tarmac Marine Ltd, who pleaded guilty to the four offences, was fined £120,000 by Southampton Magistrates Court and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120 and £10,424.57 towards the cost of the prosecution.

Captain Jeremy Smart, head of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency’s Enforcement Unit, said: ‘Despite documented knowledge of the presence of asbestos in the vessel’s pipework, the crew were never warned of this danger and were allowed to continue working in those areas none the wiser.

“Tarmac Marine Ltd have shown scant regard for their employees and have failed in their responsibilities to keep their workforce as safe as it should be.

“We hope that this successful prosecution sends a strong message to shipping and maritime companies, no matter what their size, that the risks from asbestos will be taken seriously and action will be taken so more lives aren’t put in danger in the future.”