Every year in Britain some 3,000 to 3,500 people are killed by asbestos. It has been predicted that this will increase to 10,000 deaths a year in ten years time.
Even though the hazards of asbestos have been known for years, it still has not been banned in the UK. It is used in cement products and roof tiles, and tenants living in 1960s and 1970s properties are particularly at risk. Alarmingly, there are tonsof asbestos in schools, hospitals, council houses and other public buildings. This amounts to a licence to kill, as all types of asbestos are deadly.
The Construction Safety Campaign works to highlight the practices of negligent employers. Thanks to the work of the CSC, a director, Ron Hill, received a three-month prison sentence for a dangerous asbestos offence. This was the first tough sentence. We are now seeing unlawful killing verdicts in coroners’ courts. We should not get complacent, as these decisions will not on their own halt the unnecessary deaths and injuries.
The CSC does not receive any grant or funding from any local authority, and relies solely on donations and affiliations from workers, individuals and organisations who believe there is a need for such a campaign.