The Work and Pensions Committee of backbench MPs has announced an inquiry into the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) approach to managing asbestos. Though asbestos was banned in the UK in 1999, many older buildings still contain asbestos, and many of us are still being exposed to asbestos in our homes and workplaces.
In response to the inquiry, Joanne Gordon (Forum chair) stated: “The presumption underpinning the current HSE position is that asbestos is safe providing it is in good condition and that it is undisturbed. In practice, this gives unscrupulous duty holders too much leeway to retain asbestos indefinitely, as they can simply argue that it is in good condition (even when this is not the case). Unscrupulous duty holders face next to no risk of being subject to effective enforcement action (for example from the HSE)“.
The Forum’s full response to the inquiry can be found here: Forum Submission September 2021