Asbestos went undetected in botched demolition job

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Asbestos went undetected in botched demolition job

A company was fined $150,000 at the Auckland District Court yesterday after a botched home demolition job left a neighbour trapped in her property and workers at risk of exposure to asbestos.

During the incident in December 2017 Quick Earth Moving Limited used two large diggers to pull down a house in Point Chevalier and immediately ran into issues. The first digger was used to demolish the house while the second digger was used to support a wall to prevent it from collapsing onto a neighbouring property.

The wall collapsed on a neighbour’s driveway damaging the side of their house. The wall also hit a gas terminal causing a leak. Neighbours had to vacate the area but the owner of the neighbouring property was trapped in their wheelchair at the back of her property as their driveway was covered in debris. Emergency services had to build a ramp to allow them access out of her property.

Robert Birse, WorkSafe’s Principal Advisor Asbestos, said there was a litany of failings on the job – the company failed to safely demolish the house and had not considered how to manage demolition of a property they suspected had asbestos.

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