Res­i­dents’ fears over as­bestos warn­ing signs

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - NEWS - By Krissy Stor­rar kstor­rar@sundaypost.com

Res­i­dents of four high­rise blocks of flats fear they have been ex­posed to as­bestos dur­ing fire safety works.

Spe­cial­ist con­trac­tors wear­ing pro­tec­tive cloth­ing and masks have been fit­ting new smoke and heat alarms to the flats in Sandy­hills, Glas­gow.

Signs warn­ing “Dan­ger! As­bestos re­moval in progress” and stat­ing “no ac­cess for unau­tho­rised per­sons” are placed on the land­ings while the work is be­ing done.

But ten­ants at the Glas­gow Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion build­ings have been al­lowed to stay in their flats as holes for ca­bles are drilled in the ceil­ings.

Res­i­dent Charles Brew­ster, 48, said: “There is as­bestos through­out the build­ing, but they have just let peo­ple stay in their flats while this is go­ing on.”

An­other res­i­dent added: “Their work­men are wear­ing pro­tec­tive suits and masks but they don’t pro­tect the ten­ants.

“The signs are re­ally alarm­ing peo­ple.”

As­bestos ex­pert Pro­fes­sor Robin Howie said the fire-re­tar­dant ma­te­rial poses vary­ing de­grees of risk when it is dis­turbed.

“There is no way some­one should be work­ing with as­bestos in an oc­cu­pied flat.

“I can’t un­der­stand the logic of work­men wear­ing pro­tec­tive cloth­ing and equip­ment in a flat which peo­ple are per­mit­ted to live in.”

GHA ini­tially claimed to have no knowl­edge of the “alarm­ing” warn­ing signs seen by ten­ants.

The hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tion con­firmed as­bestos is present, but is not be­ing re­moved and work is not car­ried out with ten­ants in the same room. Health and safety tests showed ab­so­lutely no risk.

GHA manag­ing di­rec­tor Jen­nifer Russell said: “We’re us­ing a spe­cial­ist con­trac­tor and some of the staff are wear­ing pro­tec­tive cloth­ing.

“Safety is al­ways our top pri­or­ity and this is sim­ply an ex­tra pre­cau­tion due to the age of the build­ing.”

One of the warn­ing signs out­side the flats

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