M&S fined £1m over asbestos risk

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The Independent Online

Marks & Spencer was yesterday fined £1m for breaching health and safety laws concerning the use of asbestos.

Bournemouth Crown Court found the high street giant and two contractors guilty of two charges under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 of failing to ensure the health and safety of its staff and others at its Reading Broad Street store in 2006.

During the refurbishment of its Broad Street store between May and November 2006, ceiling tiles containing asbestos fell to the floor. M&S was acquitted of another incident in Bournemouth in 2007. An M&S spokeswoman said: "We are very disappointed with the result of this case, as we believe that we have always acted responsibly and with a safety first attitude."