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Asbestos & You

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Tradespeople across the UK are being encouraged to be vigilant when it comes to asbestos with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)’s campaign – Asbestos & You.

Despite not having been used in construction since the year 2000, hazardous asbestos fibres are still prevalent in the UK, particularly in buildings constructed in the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s.

Public buildings such as schools, hospitals and offices are frequent culprits, but asbestos could well even be in your family home as well.

 

When undisturbed, asbestos is harmless; however, if damaged – such as through drilling or hammering – asbestos releases hazardous fibres into the air which can cause significant damage to your lungs. Unlike most dust particles, asbestos fibres do not have a smell or feel to them and often cannot be seen.

Even today, 23 years on from asbestos being banned in the UK, around 5,000 people die each year from asbestos related illnesses. Exposure to asbestos fibres can cause long-term diseases such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural thickening.

 

The Asbestos & You campaign aims to raise awareness of the serious issues surrounding asbestos and ensure tradespeople particularly receive appropriate training.

Tim Beaumont, HSE’s acting head of construction policy sector, said:

“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.”

If working with asbestos, it is essential that you are equipped with the correct PPE and RPE to handle the risk and reduce exposure.

For more information, please get in touch to speak with one of our fit2fit accredited RPE Experts.

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