MPs propose 2035 deadline for asbestos removal
MPs have put forward a range of measures that could see asbestos removed from all rented homes, businesses and public buildings by 2035.
The all-party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Health and Safety is calling for a new asbestos eradication law, in a bid to wipe out all traces of the deadly material.
In its report, the group says a national programme of asbestos surveys should be carried out in properties built before 2000 by 2022. In buildings where materials containing asbestos are uncovered, owners would be required to remove them when carrying out refurbishments or repair work.
It also suggests that landlords would need to lay out plans to rid their buildings of asbestos before the ultimate deadline of 2035, or 2028 in the case of public buildings and educational institutions.
The group is also urging the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and local councils to put together timetables for the removal of asbestos from workplaces up and down the country.
Further proposals would see home-buyers’ surveys include a duty to carry out asbestos inspections before any house sale could be completed and homeowners being compelled to pass on information about the presence of the dangerous material to any contractors working on the property.
Brian Rye, national secretary of the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians, said: “This report demonstrates that new regulations are urgently needed in order to ensure that construction workers undertaking maintenance and refurbishment work are properly protected.
“Workers should not be expected to play Russian roulette with their health.”
Kevin Fear, Health and Safety Strategy Lead at CITB, added: “Today’s announcement to tackle asbestos is a positive step for the construction industry. Asbestos is a hidden killer and around 20 tradespeople per week die due to past exposure.
“CITB will continue to work closely with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to help minimise the risk of asbestos to construction workers around the UK.”