Construction workers who were assigned to a demolition project close to London’s Parliament Square stepped forward this week to call for an investigation of unsafe work conditions after reporting that they were not offered any protective gear or clothing while working around asbestos.
According to reports, Matthew Brown, a carpenter, is one of the workers who has announced his concerns to authorities that he was never offered anything to protect him from the dangers of asbestos while he knocked down walls that were littered with friable asbestos. Brown states that they had no idea that there was asbestos in the walls until a co-worker spotted what seemed to be asbestos on the floors one day while the crew worked.
“We had no idea until days later, until one of my work colleagues spotted some fluff-type material on the floor of the work area.The more I think about it the more it worries me. Should there have been more proper checks done? I don’t know. At the end of the day it doesn’t change the fact that I was exposed,” Brown told local reporters.
As a result, the construction crew rallied around the work site close to Parliament Square to protest the unfair exposure to a deadly mineral that’s been linked with life-threatening illnesses. Citta Property Group, however, the company that funded the demolition project, refuses to meet with union group Unions Tasmania, an organization that’s helping the workers advocate their rights.
To add fuel to the fire, reports are surfacing that construction members who previously worked on the demolition are now being blacklisted by other companies for the simple reason that they are trying to protect their safety. Unions Tasmania has asked Worksafe Tasmania, a local group that protects workers from safety issues at work, to not only investigate the asbestos uncovered at the work site, but also to look into the companies accused of blacklisting workers.
Citta Property Group manager Stephen McMillan states that they are confident that there was no asbestos left in the building and that the asbestos abatement company Macquarie Builders complied with all requests made by Worksafe Tasmania:
“Safety is the main focus and priority on all our construction sites, especially with demolition and asbestos removal contracts. Full protection clothing and air monitoring was used by all workers during the removal of asbestos materials at Parliament Square,” read a statement by a spokesman for Macquarie Builders.
The work has been stopped at the Parliament Square site until a new construction company is hired to take over the project. Even with the recent asbestos abatement, however, there are still several workers who claim that they’ve already been exposed. They are hoping WorkSafe Tasmania resolves the issue in their favor.
If you or a loved one have been injured by asbestos due to asbestos by the careless acts of another party, keep in mind that you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, suffering, pain, and more. You’ll need an experienced asbestos attorney to ensure that your legal rights are being met. For more information and for a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our leading asbestos law firm today.