Tradespeople across Great Britain are being warned about the hidden dangers associated with asbestos as part of the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Asbestos and You campaign targeting tradespeople about the personal risks from asbestos that still exist in properties across the country today.
Around 5000 people a year die from asbestos related illnesses and asbestos can still be found in buildings built or refurbished before the year 2000.
Asbestos can be found in things like Artex, cement boards under eaves, garage roofs, old bath panels, boiler houses and fires and even mortar between bricks can contain asbestos.
All tradespeople should make sure they know the basics about identifying asbestos. Before carrying out any construction work, there’s a legal requirement to identify whether asbestos is present and could be disturbed. Younger tradespeople need to know the dangers behind asbestos as it could affect them in later life like it is affecting older tradespeople now.
It is crucial that tradespeople are aware of the risks involved in disturbing or damaging asbestos-containing materials, as inhaling these fibres can lead to devastating diseases such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis.
These diseases will not affect you immediately as they often take a long time to develop, but once diagnosed, it is often too late to do anything. It can take 20 to 30 years before symptoms appear. Symptoms include shortness of breath, persistent cough, wheezing, extreme tiredness, pain in your chest or shoulder and in more advanced cases, swollen fingertips.
If asbestos cannot be safely managed, it should be removed by a licensed asbestos contractor. Where present, asbestos should be closely managed by those responsible for the building.
Is your Asbestos Awareness knowledge up to date, to help provide you the information you need to avoid carrying out work that will disturb asbestos? If not, don't hesitate to get in contact. We offer UKATA Asbestos Awareness eLearning for only £30 + VAT.
This UKATA course we are offering is sold under license from ACT who is the UKATA approved Member 181.