LEADERS of construction union Ucatt have blasted plans to weaken asbestos regulations put forward for consultation that ended this week.
The Health and Safety Executive has proposed to remove textured coatings like Artex from regulations demanding that only licensed removal specialists can strip the material.
Ucatt general secretary Alan Ritchie said: 'The idea that the removal of textured decorative coatings containing asbestos can now be taken outside of the licensing regime sends out all the wrong signals.'
Ucatt-sponsored MP Michael Clapham led opposition in the House of Commons during a debate being held as Construction News went to press.
He said: 'There is no safe working threshold with asbestos, and workers and householders require regulations that offer them protection.' Mr Ritchie added: 'I have seen too many of our members suffer painful deaths as a result of an asbestos-related disease to ever be able to support a change in regulations that puts workers at risk, no matter how small that r isk is perceived to be.'