A coalition of Trade Unions, including the NASUWT, are calling for the removal of asbestos from all public buildings within the next 40 years, to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of school pupils, hospital patients and all workers who use non-domestic buildings.
The Unions have written to the leaders of the Conservative Party, Green Party, Labour and the Liberal Democrats, calling for each party to include in their manifesto for the next general election, a commitment to set a 40-year deadline to remove deadly asbestos from non-domestic buildings.
They are calling for a commitment to implement in full the recommendations of the Work and Pensions Select Committee Sixth Report – ‘The Health and Safety Executive’s approach to asbestos management’.
The letter states: “Asbestos exposure is still the biggest cause of work-related deaths in Britain. Around 5,000 people are dying each year from asbestos cancers linked to work exposure, including from mesothelioma.
“Asbestos is one of the great workplace tragedies of modern times and it is a national disgrace that Britain has one of the highest mesothelioma mortality rates in the world.
“We are calling on you and your Party to include in your manifesto for the next general election, a commitment to implement in full the recommendations of the Work and Pensions Select Committee Sixth Report – ‘The Health and Safety Executive’s approach to asbestos management’ (published on 21 April 2022), and particularly the recommendations to:
- Set a 40-year deadline for the removal of asbestos from non-domestic buildings, focusing on removing the highest risk asbestos first, and the early removal from the highest risk settings including schools;
- Create a central digital register of all asbestos in non-domestic buildings, describing its location and type.
“The full implementation of the recommendations within the Committee’s Report is an essential step on the road to ensuring that schools, hospitals and all public buildings are safe from the blight of this insidious cancer-causing material.
“We would be grateful for your support on this critically important issue and look forward to receiving your response.”
Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said:
“It is a national disgrace that increasing numbers of school teachers are dying each year from Mesothelioma, the deadly lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure.
“Political parties must prioritise the safety of teachers and pupils and commit to a national strategy to remove this deadly substance from the 81% of school buildings that still contain asbestos, and from all public buildings.”