An investigation has been launched after workers were allegedly exposed to asbestos at an Aberdeen council depot.
The probe has been commissioned after concerns were raised that several open industrial bags of white asbestos, believed to be from a garage roof, were dumped in the open at the Kincorth depot at the end of September.
It is understood staff arrived for their morning shift to discover the substance had been left overnight.
Last night a top union official welcomed the investigation being launched adding it was a “very, very serious matter” that could have affected the wider Kincorth community if the fibres had been blown into the air.
Mystery surrounds where the substance originated from, as when the city council removes it from properties it owns, there is paperwork to show its origins.
The local authority’s website advises that any properties built before the year 2000 can contain some form of asbestos with white asbestos, also known as chrysotile, only banned for construction in the UK in 1999. The site adds: “Asbestos is often mixed with other materials so sometimes it is hard to know whether it is present or not.”
Prolonged inhalation of asbestos fibres can cause fatal illnesses including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis and should be stored inside before being disposed of.
Last night Unite north-east regional representative Tommy Campbell said that workers had been put in danger and called for a “thorough and transparent” investigation. He said: “We welcome news that the investigation has begun.”
By Jon Hebditch