THE owner of a popular Indian restaurant has been ordered to pay more than £9,000 after workers being exposed to hazardous asbestos during a major overhaul.

Faruk Kamali was working to convert the space above the Marco Polo restaurant into flats in Wickford.

Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard while work was being carried out at the restaurant, asbestos insulation board was removed and broken up which resulted in construction workers being exposed to the asbestos fibres.

Investigators subsequently found out an asbestos survey was only carried out after the asbestos had been disturbed in September 2016.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that a management asbestos survey and a refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey had not been completed prior to the work starting at the restaurant in Lower Southend Road, Wickford.

They also determined that the work had not been completed by a licensed asbestos contractor - a further breach of health and safety regulations.

Faruk Kamali, of Bullivant Street, London, admitted breaching Regulation 4(3) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 when he appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on July 11.

The 48-year-old was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £6,293 by magistrates.

After the hearing, HSE inspector David King said: “Those in control of works have a responsibility to manage the risks from asbestos in non-domestic premises.”

He added: “To achieve this the dutyholder must ensure that a suitable and sufficient assessment is carried out as to whether asbestos is or is liable to be present in the premises.”

All types of asbestos fibres are known to cause serious health hazards in humans.

Planning permission was initially granted by Basildon Council in May 2016 which allowed Mr Kamali to convert the first floor of the restaurant into two separate flats.

The restaurant has been awarded Trip Advisor’s certificate of excellence for the past three consecutive years.

Further information about client’s duties in regards to asbestos control can be found at