UCATT is the Union of Construction Allied Trades and Technicians is the union for workers in the construction sector. The union is dedicated to campaigning on behalf of building workers developing campaigns aimed at improving work place conditions.
The construction trade is known to have many fatalities with the greatest single cause of work related death in the UK being asbestos exposure and the diseases that derive from it such as Mesothelioma.
UCATT campaigns for health and safety and employment rights, it aims to protect against this as well as ensuring safe working practises, proper equipment and appropriate health and safety management. The union seeks to ensure meticulous health and safety measures to keep its members healthy.
UCATT’s policy on asbestos advises workers to stop work on whatever project they are doing if they believe that they are working with asbestos in any stage of the job. The union has produced an asbestos fact sheet warning of the dangers of asbestos and giving information on what a worker should do if they do happen to discover any asbestos during their work, additionally explaining their legal situation.
UCATT advises people that have been or believe they have been exposed to asbestos to seek medical attention and report the exposure to a doctor, as well as recording it in the UCATT system if they are a member of the union so as they are able to make a claim on behalf of the worker should any of them develop any health issues in the future.
The union has recently raised extreme concerns for members of the union after workers on a property in Bicester were exposed to asbestos during their work.
Employers Sanctuary Maintenance Contractors Ltd a subsidiary of Sanctuary Housing knowingly exposed 6 workers to asbestos whilst they were working on an empty residential property. Workers were instructed to start work and when asked their employers if any asbestos was present in the premises they were told no. During the construction the workers went on to remove the ceiling where they found asbestos present.
The workers have now been made aware that Sanctuary Homes records indicated that there was asbestos present in the house, which was well known before the commencement date of the project, however Sanctuary Homes did not pass this information on to the workers.
After the incident where the workers were exposed to asbestos they were asked to make statements about the events before finding out that Sanctuary Homes had attempted to change the statements of the workers.
A different company is now continuing the work on the property but are also concerned about the presence of asbestos.
UCATT has attempted to get in contact with the firm to try to ensure that something similar would not happen in the future but Sanctuary Homes has not responded.
For more information on the Union you can visit; https://www.ucatt.org.uk/
Contact our Armco office for asbestos management and refurbishment/ demolition surveys on 0161 763 3727 or by visiting https://www.armco.org.uk/. Alternatively call 0161 761 4424 or visit https://www.armcoasbestostraining.co.uk/ for enquires or to book your training course.
Published Mar 13, 2015