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Work and Pensions Committee to question Minister Chloe Smith and HSE officials - Wednesday 2nd February at 9.15am

28 January 2022

The Work and Pensions Committee will question DWP Minister Chloe Smith along with officials from the Health and Safety Executive in the final evidence session of the inquiry examining the HSE’s approach to asbestos management.

Purpose of the session

The Committee raised concerns last year with the Government about the UK’s policy on managing asbestos in buildings, following the publication of a report by think tank Respublica. Despite the importation, supply and use of the material being banned in the UK since 1999, asbestos remains the largest single cause of work-related fatalities, with more than 5,000 deaths each year from diseases including mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis.

In response, the Minister for Employment confirmed that the HSE would be reviewing the effectiveness of the regulations for managing asbestos.

The session will be a chance for MPs to ask about how the review is progressing, as well as to examine HSE’s approach to enforcing regulations and its assessment of the current risk posed by asbestos in the workplace.

In the first evidence session of the inquiry, the Committee questioned safety campaigners, representatives from charities and from support groups. The Committee also heard from French, German and Dutch experts in asbestos management. A further session was held with health experts and representatives from the asbestos industry.

Witnesses

Wednesday 2nd February at 9.15am:

  • Chloe Smith MP, Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Department for Work and Pensions
  • Sarah Albon, Chief Executive, Health and Safety Executive
  • Andrew Curran, Chief Scientific Officer, Health and Safety Executive

Further information

Image: webercw via Flickr, CC BY-NC-2.0