Quarter of Scottish schools contain 'terrifying' asbestos, warns Labour MSP
20.11.2023 - 04:47
More than a quarter of schools in Scotland still contain asbestos despite on-going work to remove the harmful substance, new figures show.
Figures gathered by Labour MSP Mark Griffin via Freedom of Information found 1,360 schools out of a total of 5,067 across the country contain the outdated construction material.
South Lanarkshire is the only council area in Scotland to report that none of its schools contain the substance.
Some 274 schools across the country had asbestos removed from their building within the last year.
Campaigners have warned that asbestos exposure is still the biggest cause of all work-related deaths in the UK.
Griffin is promoting legislation which could lead to the establishment of a Scottish Employment Injuries Advisory Council (SEIAC).
If passed by MSPs, the new body would work with Social Security Scotland to help design and deliver enhanced protections for workers injured at work through no fault of their own.
Responsibility for employment injury benefit has been devolved to Scotland but the powers have yet to be used by SNP ministers.
Griffin said: "It is terrifying for parents, teachers and children, that a quarter of our schools still have asbestos in them.
"The current Westminster benefit has created an enormous gender gap by ignoring the illness and disease women have experienced at work for decades, including the risks from asbestos.
"Their cancers and ill-health are dismissed as not being due to their workplaces, and it is not right they just don’t get a look in.
"With our new powers we can fix this and properly recognise the cancers from asbestos women face at work, day-in and day-out.
"It is vital this new benefit has women at its heart, with a gender-balanced council determined to start