BELGIUM: Signature of a memorandum on asbestos

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Following discussions which were held during meetings of the Asbestos Forum, the trade unions for the construction sector and the Navb-Cnac risk prevention institute signed a memorandum on 18 June 2015 to demand that greater attention be paid to the issue of asbestos and to support a more responsible approach during asbestos removal work.

The trade unions “are convinced that asbestos risks are insufficiently known”. They request the compilation and publication on the Employment Ministry’s website of a list of firms which provide appropriate training for their workers performing “simple treatments” for the removal of asbestos materials. At present, this type of work requires no particular certification, unlike other removal techniques. The trade unions make this request because they note that there is unfair competition, notably among roofers, sanitation system installers and central heating installers. Some firms do not comply with the regulatory provisions and very often hire foreign workers who do not understand the safety instructions.

The trade unions also list a series of recommendations regarding the introduction of an asbestos certificate for the sale of a building, and mandatory forwarding of the asbestos inventory to the safety coordinator and not just the contractor.
The trade unions hope that, as a result, better allowance will be made for asbestos risk.

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