Unions increase pressure on UK Govt to remove asbestos from NHS buildings

Unions increase pressure on UK Govt to remove asbestos from NHS buildings

The British Parliament is under pressure from various unions across the country after it was revealed that there are hundreds of buildings utilised by the National Health Service, or NHS, that still contain asbestos.

Research undertaken for the Trades Union Congress has shown that asbestos is present in at least 451 premises in London alone, with a further 695 across Scotland. Two-thirds of the buildings that contained asbestos, including hospitals, health centres, GP clinics and even blood donor centres, were open to the public.

The TUC is campaigning for all buildings in the United Kingdom that are used by the public to be free of asbestos.

Last year in Parliament, the Work and Pensions Select Committee called for a deadline for asbestos to be removed from all commercial and public buildings. That deadline was proposed at 40 years, making it more than 60 years since asbestos was banned in the United Kingdom.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which is the workplace safety regulator for the UK, says that asbestos is the single largest cause of work-related deaths in the country. On average, asbestos-related diseases kill approximately 4,500 people a year.

The study for the TUC was carried out by a union research organisation known as the Labour Research Department. The TUC has accused the government of “turning a blind eye” to the scale of asbestos issues and is lobbying for legislation to be implemented to remove the material from public buildings.

There are differing views on both sides of the British government – the TUC is more closely aligned with a future Labour government and wants to see a large-scale retrofit program to ensure asbestos is removed from all public buildings.

In April 2022, then-Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Chloe Smith said the government had “a clearly stated goal” that “it is right to – over time and in the safest way – work towards there no longer being asbestos in non-domestic buildings”.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

div#stuning-header .dfd-stuning-header-bg-container {background-image: url(https://trinitasgroup.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/banner-small.png);background-color: #000000;background-size: cover;background-position: top center;background-attachment: initial;background-repeat: no-repeat;}#stuning-header div.page-title-inner {min-height: 650px;}