UK Parliamentary Group Declares Final War on Asbestos, Calls for Complete and Accelerated Eradication

In Britain, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health (“the Group”) is demanding legislation that will work to completely eliminate asbestos from buildings in the UK.  The Group wants to put regulations in place that will require the safe, phased, and planned removal of asbestos in every workplace in Britain.  It also wants asbestos reports included in all home-buyers’ surveys and a national program of asbestos surveys.

In its recommendations, the Group wants to require that all commercial, public, and rented domestic premises conduct a survey done by a registered consultant that indicates whether asbestos-containing material is present and, if it is present, where it is and in what condition. It insists the survey registered with the Health and Safety Executive, and it wants this requirement completed by 2022.

An additional recommendation is that if asbestos is identified, any and all refurbishment, repair, or remedial work done in the vicinity of the asbestos-containing material should include the removal of the asbestos. In cases where no such work takes place or is planned in the foreseeable future, the dutyholder must create a plan for the removal of all asbestos that ensures the complete removal by no later than 2035.  Additionally, if the premises are public buildings or educational establishments, the complete removal should occur by 2028.

A third recommendation is that the Health and Safety Executive, local authorities, and other enforcing agencies must develop a program of workplace inspections in an effort to verify that all asbestos-containing material is properly identified and that asbestos eradication plans are in place and present an acceptable time frame for total eradication.

Finally, a fourth recommendation is that before any completion of a house sale, a survey should be done including a survey of the presence of asbestos. Asbestos-containing material should be labeled, and any information on the presence of asbestos should be given to any contractor working on the house.