Despite the nationwide ban, it is believed that asbestos is still being used in Dubai. The World Health Organisation estimates that 125 million people around the world are annually exposed to the substance in the workplace, and the International Labour Organisation states that about 100,000 workers die each year from a related disease.
Asbestos can be found in many buildings and products, and is usually safe if left undisturbed. However, when materials that contain asbestos are disturbed or damaged and the particles are inhaled it can cause fatal diseases, such as Mesothelioma and Asbestos related lung cancer.
Charles Faulkner, Head of Environment, Health & Safety at Anthesis who has worked in the UAE for seven years, has said he has come across around twenty brand-new construction projects that have had asbestos installed in them. These construction sites include new office towers, power stations, homes and even schools.
Falkner explains that Asbestos, which is now banned in more than sixty countries can still be bought with relative ease from many suppliers in the Middle East and has identified eight companies in Dubai, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain openly advertising the sale of materials containing asbestos.
Charles Kinniburgh,Chief Executive of Angus Asbestos Removal in Abu Dhabi who has recently been contracted to remove asbestos from two buildings believes that the lack of awareness of Asbestos and the fact that people are unware of the problems related to Asbestos is extremely worrying.
Do you work in an industry where asbestos exposure is still a risk? Did you know that there is a legal duty on employers to provide information, instruction and training to employees who are likely to be exposed to the substance as part of their work?
Safety Media’s RoSPA approved Asbestos Awareness Interactive course will provide information regarding different types of asbestos as well as control measures, risk assessments and emergency procedures. The course is only 30 minutes long and could be extremely beneficial for those who work in high-risk industries.
You can download the full course description and watch a short preview of the course here.