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Asbestos: How can you stop the silent killer?

Claiming around 4,500 deaths per year asbestos may be the ‘hidden killer’ and if you are in the Construction Industry, you are at risk.

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Claiming around 4,500 deaths per year asbestos may be the ‘hidden killer’ and if you are in the Construction Industry, you are at risk.

Why is asbestos dangerous?

Drilling, sawing, cutting or demolishing. If you disturb asbestos materials you will release deadly fibres.

These diseases will not affect you immediately; they often take a long time to develop, but once diagnosed, it is often too late to do anything. This is why it is important that you protect yourself now

What will happen if I don’t catch it?
Case study:

Building surveyor Watts Group has been fined £30,000 for health and safety breaches for not providing correct surveys this resulted in two construction workers being exposed to asbestos –

The information contained in the survey was then used to develop illustrative site plans showing areas where asbestos was present and areas where it had been identified as having been removed. Watts then supplied these plans to a construction subcontractor whose role was to remove and replace doors and to carry out other building work in the ducts.

But an investigation by the Health & Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) found that the survey fell far below the required standards. Among its shortcomings, asbestos was discovered in poor condition in numerous areas throughout the ducts where the Watts plans illustrated there was no asbestos.

asbestos

8 ways you can reduce Asbestos risk

  • Take reasonable steps to find out if there are materials containing asbestos in non-domestic premises, and if so, its amount, where it is and what condition it is in
  • Presume materials contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence that they do not
  • Make, and keep up-to-date, a record of the location and condition of the asbestos- containing materials – or materials which are presumed to contain asbestos
  • Assess the risk of anyone being exposed to fibers from the materials identified
  • Prepare a plan that sets out in detail how the risks from these materials will be managed
  • Take the necessary steps to put the plan into action
  • Periodically review and monitor the plan and the arrangements to act on it so that the plan remains relevant and up-to-date
  • Provide information on the location and condition of the materials to anyone who is liable to work on or disturb them

Remember, Prevention not cure