The dangers of Asbestos should never be ignored. Asbestos kills around 5,000 people a year, more than the number of people killed on the roads. Around 20 tradesman die each week as a result of past exposure, however asbestos is not just a problem of the past it can be present in buildings built or refurbished before 2000. Asbestos has been banned completely since 2003 after being found to be a cancer causing agent and exposure to this product can result to serious chronic health problems such as Mesothelioma, Lung cancer and Asbestosis. What’s troubling about the dangers of Asbestos are that the symptoms of these diseases may not show up even after years since the exposure, as a result, Asbestos is now a banned substance in the UK.
The dangers of asbestos in the workplace
According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), an estimated 1.3 million employees in construction and general industry face significant asbestos exposure on the job. Similarly, industrial and office building built prior to 1990 fall right into the category of having suspected asbestos material, however the mere presence to this substance does not necessarily put the people going in and out of the building at risk. Nevertheless, work places should be inspected for the presence of asbestos especially in the air as that is highly dangerous.
What to do when you are faced with asbestos
In order to avoid being exposed to the dangers of asbestos, you must be aware of the locations it is likely to be found. If you do not know whether something contains asbestos or not, assume that it is until verified otherwise. Make sure you work safely by taking the appropriate precautions when carrying out any work that could disturb asbestos.
- Stop work and speak to your employer, or the building owner if you are suspicious something may contain
- Do keep activities to a minimum in any areas having damaged material that may contain asbestos.
- Have removal and major repair done by people trained and qualified.
- Wash before breaks and going home.
- Use your protective equipment, including a suitable face mask, worn properly.
- Don’t dust, sweep or vacuum debris that may contain asbestos.
- Don’t saw, sand, scrape, or drill holes in asbestos materials.
- Take home overalls used for asbestos work.
- Eat or drink in the work area.
- Reuse disposable clothing or masks.
If you want your workplace and staff to be more aware of the dangers of asbestos, then Safety Media’s Asbestos Awareness course will train your employees to recognise different types of asbestos, understand control measures and identify the associated risks. We aim to help you find the right solution with the best possible Health & Safety software.
For further information, please call one of our specialists today on +(0)1745 535000.