EACH year on December 12, the team at Acorn Analytical Services takes a moment to remember the lives lost in workplaces up and down the UK, either through injury or exposure to asbestos.
By pausing to remember those who have died from workplace accidents, or from diseases such as lung cancer or mesothelioma, National Workplace Day of Remembrance gives us the opportunity to reflect, remember, and think carefully about the ways in which we can improve workplace safety for everyone.
During 2021/22, 123 people died in accidents at work, while 5,000 died from mesothelioma, a cancer which is caused by exposure to asbestos fibres.
At Acorn Analytical Services, we remain as determined as ever to reducing the number of tragedies in any way we can.
Asbestos: The hidden killer
More people in the UK die from exposure to asbestos than in car accidents yet it is rarely discussed or talked about in the media.
It was banned from new buildings in 1999 but it still poses a significant threat to health as it lies dormant inside many commonly-used buildings including offices, factories, hospitals and even schools.
Used extensively as a cheap building product from the 1940s to 1990s, asbestos played in an important part in building the UK’s post-war infrastructure, but its devastating effects are still being felt to this today.
As well as supporting businesses with the management of asbestos in their buildings, we see it as our responsibility to raise awareness of the hidden dangers so more lives can be saved in the future.
If you know your building contains it, or if you’re not sure, get in touch with our team of experts today to arrange a survey.
If we find it, we can give you the help and support you need to ensure it is managed properly. If not, you can rest assured that those around you are safe and protected from this silent killer.
Who is most at risk?
It goes without saying that the people most at risk of being exposed to asbestos – and therefore of developing mesothelioma – are those involved in construction, including plumbers, builders and carpenters and joiners.
But with it present in nearly all of the buildings we have contact with everyday, exposure could, in truth, affect anyone of any age.
Throughout my career, I have been shocked at the amount of asbestos contained within schools and the number of teachers affected by mesothelioma.
The vast majority of schools were built when the use of the material was prevalent and, as they age and the fibres begin to deteriorate, the risk of asbestos fibres being released into the air increases dramatically.
Similarly, you may have seen our campaign aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of asbestos in the retail industry.
Our high streets are dominated by asbestos, and we want to encourage retailers across the UK to think very carefully about the responsibility they have to their staff and customers.
During the past year, we have seen a significant increase in the number of businesses fined for not carrying out regular surveys, and putting people at risk by not checking for the presence of asbestos before carrying out any repairs or starting any building work.
Even one death from asbestos-related mesothelioma is one too many – and we are determined to see that change.
Acorn is a professional asbestos consultancy helping organisations deal with compliance using surveys, air testing, and removal management.
Please call one of the team, or use the online form to obtain your free quotation. If you would like further information or advice on asbestos and training, contact the team on 0844 818 0895 or Contact Us