Unite, the country’s largest union, has reported that Manchester’s Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust failed to deal with the existence of asbestos putting more than 20 workers at risk and also endangering staff, patients and visitors.
A separate report by Asbestos Contracting Limited (ACL) in August 2015, revealed that the presence of the asbestos was known to the hospital trust for over 10 years. Despite this, workers were still requested to carry out jobs in areas of the hospital known to be contaminated by the management staff.
A second report by Unite, who was representing the affected workers, raised concerns about the asbestos but no action was taken by the trust. Unite claims “the trust failed to inform employees and did not put any control measures in place to provide a safe working environment. They also failed to maintain an up-to-date asbestos register, monitor the condition of the asbestos on site, and contravened other health and safety breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulation 2012.”
A formal grievance was raised by the estate staff in February 2014 and the Christie hospital trust took 18 months to investigate. Following the investigation, it seems no no one in management was held responsible for the breach in health and safety legislation. Unite is calling for those responsible for asbestos safety to be brought before a disciplinary hearing.