Mark Whitehead 31 May 2017

Council criticised after workers exposed to asbestos

Council criticised after workers exposed to asbestos image

The GMB union has called for an overhaul of Fife Council’s health and safety policies after workers were exposed to asbestos.

It says a breakdown in communication at management and supervisory levels left seven staff unaware they were handling contaminated waste when dealing with a fly-tipping incident.

The union is also demanding to know why there was a delay in the standard decontamination process of the exposed staff after the incident was reported.

It says staff instructed to deal with the waste had received no previous asbestos awareness training.

GMB Scotland branch secretary Annette Drylie said: ‘This is a scandalous breach of workplace health and safety - a litany of failures by the council before, during and after the incident.

‘Management knew this area was contaminated but workers have been sent unawares to deal with the fly-tipping.’

Ken Gourlay, Head of Assets, Transportation and Environment, said: 'As soon as management were made aware of this, a full investigation was set up to establish what went wrong and ensure it does not happen again. The investigation is still ongoing at this time.'

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