Set 40 year deadline for non-domestic building asbestos removal, MPs say
by Connor Burke
A report from the Work and Pensions Committee highlights this week how, despite being banned more than two decades ago, asbestos remains the single greatest cause of work-related fatalities in the UK. For example, in 2019 alone there were over 5000 reported deaths directly related to cancers such as mesothelioma. As a result MPs are stating this week that the Government must commit to a strategy to remove all asbestos from public and commercial buildings within 40 years.
With asbestos still in around 300,000 non-domestic buildings the Work and Pensions Committee says that reliance on the current asbestos regulations is simply not good enough. The report presents new first party data to support their claims, ultimately concluding that a cross-government and ‘system-wide’ strategy for the long-term removal of asbestos is paramount.
Stephen Timms MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said: “Simple reliance on a set of regulations which devolve asbestos management to individual duty holders – the building owners or managers responsible for maintenance – will not be good enough.” he continues, “Setting a clear deadline of 40 years for the removal of asbestos from non-domestic buildings will help to focus minds. The clock is ticking and the Government and HSE must now come up with a strategic plan”.
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