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Call for government to publish risk register for public buildings

13 September 2023

THE TUC has called on the government to publish a national risk register for all public buildings.

In a statement, the union body warns that the RAAC crisis in schools is likely to be just the “tip of the iceberg” with hospitals, libraries, community centres and other public buildings also at risk. 

The full statement from TUC general secretary Paul Nowak reads: “The school buildings fiasco has been a disaster years in the making. Unions have consistently warned about the danger of crumbling classrooms – but have been dismissed and ignored. It shouldn’t have taken another roof collapsing for the government to act. 

“The RAAC crisis in our schools is just the tip of the iceberg. Across our public estate – including in our hospitals, libraries, community centres and courts - we have buildings at risk from RAAC, asbestos and other severe structural problems. 

“That is why today we are calling on the government to urgently publish a national risk register for all public buildings. People deserve to know the buildings they work in and use are safe. 

“Where the government is unclear about the safety of buildings they must take immediate action to carry out risk assessments and make this information public. We must end the culture of secrecy that has prevented good decision-making and put lives at risk. 

“The government has repeatedly blocked school leaders, teachers, support staff and their unions’ requests for information on the safety of school buildings.  We cannot afford for this approach to continue. 

“We need the government to commit to a programme of capital investment that repairs and rebuilds our public estate. These repairs must include: 

  • Ridding our public buildings of RAAC, asbestos and other structural hazards 
  • Ensuring our public buildings are fit for purpose 
  • Refurbishing our public buildings ready for net zero 

“Ministers must act now in the national interest.”