GMB Call On Asbestos Removal Employers To Work With Union Members On Sites To Ensure Safe Removal And Disposal Of Asbestos
After discussions with asbestos removal workers across the UK it has become apparent that there is a lack of meaningful worker Involvement in all areas of health, safety or welfare provision as required by licences says GMB
GMB, the union for staff in the thermal insulation industry, is calling on all licenced asbestos removal companies to join with the union to tackle concerns being raised over health safety and welfare of workers in the industry.
GMB sit on the Asbestos Liaison Group (ALG) alongside bodies such as ARCA, ACAD, NFDC IATP and UKATA which deals with licencing of asbestos removal companies.
Dave Hulse, GMB national officer, said “Part of the ALG's conditions on granting a license to a company covers worker involvement in the process of removing and disposing asbestos safely. Without a properly trained, licensed and regulated workforce who are complying with regulations companies will be at risk of having the licence removed.
GMB has had extensive discussions with asbestos removal workers from all parts of the UK. From these discussions it has become apparent that there is a lack of meaningful worker Involvement in all areas of health, safety or welfare provision.
A large number of workers have also expressed concerns about the poor quality of the training being delivered by training providers. There are also issues regarding workers being excluded from involvement in the planning stages on site with regards to heat stress and working hours inside enclosures.
So despite assurances given to GMB that workers are included it is apparent from our evidence that it is simply not happening in the majority of companies involved.
GMB is urging all companies who employ asbestos removal operatives to join with the GMB to seek to raise standards in the industry and to ensure that the elements in the licenses are fully complied with.
At present the terms and conditions of thermal insulators and asbestos removers are negotiated with TICA/ACAD and GMB.
The best way forward is for a unionised workforce using its combined strength to oppose any short cuts regarding health safety and welfare. With workers in a union we can work employers them to ensure they comply with obligations under the ALG's license at application or renewal.
In these challenging times for the industry the only way forward for companies is to be the best organised and efficient in the market place. Failure to develop a professional way of working may well result in companies going out of business.”
Contact Dave Hulse 07971 266157 or Phil Whitehurst 07968 338810 or GMB press office 07921 289880.