Asbestos in the workplace is a killer

Asbestos in the workplace can kill if it is not managed properly.

At Acorn Analytical Services, we are all too well aware that asbestos in the workplace can kill if it is not managed properly.

This Sunday, our staff – along with millions of other people across the UK – will stop what they’re doing and observe a minute’s silence to mark National Workplace Day of Remembrance and remember all those workers who have died due to asbestos-related diseases.

This annual event was established two years ago to remember all those who have died whilst trying to support their families and our economy.

Every year on 12th December, organisations of all sizes and from all sectors are asked to observe the silence at midday to pay their respects and workers in buildings with flagpoles are asked to fly the Union Flag at half-mast.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), asbestos kills around 5,000 workers each year – more than the number of people killed on the road.

Every year on average there are around 2,500 deaths from the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma in Great Britain which are attributed to occupational disease.

Asbestos in the workplace is also known to cause other serious conditions which can affect the lungs, including the cancer mesotheliomaasbestosis and pulmonary fibrosis.

Who is most at risk from asbestos in the workplace?

Those most at risk from exposure to asbestos in the workplace are construction workers, home renovators, demolition crews, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, firefighters, maintenance workers, industrial workers such as mechanics, foremen, machinery operators and chemical workers, power plant workers and shipyard workers.

However, anyone who is working in a building which was built before 2000 could be at risk. This is because any building built before this date may contain asbestos.

To keep workers safe, an asbestos survey should be carried out to identify if and where asbestos is located. Once asbestos is located it should be monitored and effectively managed to make sure it doesn’t put anyone in danger.

If people aren’t aware of the presence of asbestos the consequences can be tragic.

For example, it may come as a surprise to many people but since 1980 at least 363 school teachers have died from mesothelioma, 249 of those since 2001.

According to the National Education Union (NEU), school teachers are now dying from mesothelioma at an average rate of 19 per year, up from three per year in 1980. Since 1980 at least 165 higher and further education teaching professionals have died of mesothelioma.

This is because materials containing asbestos can often be found all around educational establishments in floor and ceiling tiles, pipework, window frames, insulation boards, cement, plaster, roofing and boiler insulation.

One of the reasons that we are seeing school teachers dying from asbestos-related diseases stems from them simply putting up displays on noticeboards that contained asbestos.

When materials that contain asbestos are disturbed or damaged, fibres are released into the air and can be inhaled. It is these fibres which cause asbestos-related cancers and other diseases.

How can we protect people from asbestos in the workplace?

As we’ve said the first step is to have an asbestos survey. If you’re not having work done but want to find out if your property contains asbestos you should have an asbestos management survey.

A management survey is generally the first step you take towards safely managing asbestos in your building. It includes the sampling of suspected asbestos materials and it only causes a small amount of intrusion.

It will generally include a visual inspection of ceilings, walls, floors, accessible ducts, service risers and lofts.

Once you have identified where asbestos is you can begin to manage it safely and take appropriate action to make sure it is not damaged or disturbed.

How is Acorn protecting people from the dangers of asbestos in the workplace?

Our highly trained professionals work with organisations of all sizes and from all sectors to manage their asbestos and ensure their workers are kept safe and the organisations themselves are not prosecuted for breaking asbestos laws.

We produce educational podcasts, have released an informative book called Asbestos The Dark Arts and offer free 30-minute asbestos review surgeries to help organisations find out what they need to do to comply with UK law.

Earlier this year on World Teachers’ Day, we also launched a hard-hitting campaign targeting the issue of asbestos in schools.

To start with, the campaign is focusing on the city of Birmingham where we have one of our bases and where several of our employees live and work. The city has also hit the headlines numerous times in recent years after it emerged that more than 80 per cent of council-run schools in Birmingham may contain asbestos.

We have highlighted the issue with leading politicians and education unions, secured media coverage to promote greater awareness of the situation and are offering all headteachers in Birmingham a free asbestos audit for their school. All they have to do, is call Acorn on 0844 818 0895.

How can you help mark National Workplace Day of Remembrance?

If you can, stop for a minute at midday on Sunday to mark National Workplace Day of Remembrance.

However, one of the most fitting tributes you could pay to those who have lost their lives whilst serving our economy is to ensure that no one at your workplace is at risk from asbestos.

It shouldn’t just be left to company bosses and managers – all of us have a duty to raise awareness about asbestos.

If you’re not sure if your workplace contains asbestos, ask the question. If your organisation hasn’t carried out an asbestos survey then ask your employer to arrange one.

You could prevent your company from being prosecuted for breaking asbestos law. You could stop your organisation from being heavily fined or a colleague from being given a custodial sentence. Even more importantly you could save someone’s life.

If you need help, call our expert team today.

Acorn is a professional asbestos consultancy helping organisations deal with asbestos compliance using asbestos surveysasbestos air testing, and asbestos 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 asbestos training, contact the team on 0844 818 0895 or Contact Us

Neil Munro

I work in a dual role at Acorn Analytical Services focused primarily on growing and leading the business from our Northampton office base. My focus is on overseeing all sales, marketing and financial activities from Northampton. I assist clients with high-level asbestos management strategies and training. Together with Ian Stone I host our weekly podcast – Asbestos Knowledge Empire and I'm Co-author of Asbestos The Dark Arts and Fear and Loathing of Health and Safety.

Need Help? Request a Call Back

Request a call back from one of our expert Asbestos Consultants who will help you identify what you need

More Asbestos Articles

Acorn Analytical Services is raising awareness of asbestos

Asbestos may be out of sight but it should never be out of mind

WITH construction methods advancing all the time its easy to think of asbestos as a building material which has long been consigned to the history books. Used extensively in post-war Britain, as a cheap building material known primarily for its fire-retardant properties, asbestos was central to the rebuilding of the UK used in many public … Read more

Asbestos management consultancy Acorn Analytical Services continues to grow

Asbestos management consultancy Acorn Analytical Services grows its team after successful start to 2024

THE start of the year has been a busy one for the team at asbestos management consultancy Acorn Analytical Services with a number of new clients coming on board. These are exciting times for Acorn – and as the business has continued to grow – so too has our team. Since Christmas, we’ve created 12 … Read more

The new senior leadership team at asbestos managment consultancy, Acorn Analytical Services. From left to right, Sian Stone, Sam Savage and Daniel Crask.

Three reasons why you should always #chooseacorn for all of your asbestos management needs

If you’re a regular visitor to our social media channels you’ll almost certainly have seen the hashtag #chooseacorn being used and maybe even wondered why. For Acorn Analytical Services these two words alone mark a real step change in the way we do business – representing a fresh start and a bolder, much more innovative … Read more

The new senior leadership team at asbestos management consultancy Acorn Analytical Services. From left to right, Steve McGlone, Andy Jackson and Simon Rodham.

Award-winning asbestos management consultancy starts 2024 with a new senior team

AWARD-WINNING asbestos management consultancy Acorn Analytical Services has announced a new senior leadership team to take the company into 2024 and beyond. After a record-breaking year which saw the company recognised for High Growth at the National SME Awards while taking on new clients and winning new business across the UK, Acorn Analytical Services, which … Read more

Ian Stone, director of asbestos management consultancy, Acorn Analytical Services

Let’s start 2024 in the right way – by getting rid of the dangers of asbestos for good

According to the latest data from the Health and Safety Executive 2,268 people died from asbestos-related mesothelioma in 2021 alone. It’s a shocking statistic, particularly when you consider that the use of asbestos in new buildings was banned in the UK in 1999 – more than 20 years ago. With Cancer Research UK confirming that … Read more

This Men's Health Month is time to talk about absestos

Men’s Health Month – it’s time to talk openly about asbestos

NOVEMBER marks Men’s Health Month – a time for shining the spotlight on the conditions and issues which affect men from all walks of life. While the focus quite rightly turns to serious health issues including Prostate Cancer, Testicular Cancer and mental health, at Acorn Analytical Services we want people to start talking about asbestos. … Read more

Asbestos consultancy Acorn Analytical Services will soon be moving into new offices

Have you heard the news? Asbestos consultancy Acorn Analytical Services Northampton is on the move

IF you haven’t heard the news already, we are delighted to announce that asbestos connsultancy Acorn Analytical Services Northampton will be starting a brand-new chapter very soon. In the coming days, our team will be moving to new – much larger – offices on Northampton’s Moulton Park, the place which has been our home for … Read more

asbestos in talcum powder

Unveiling the Hidden Danger: The Menace of Asbestos in Talcum Powder and the UK’s Stance

Explore the veiled danger of asbestos in talcum powder, the UK’s vigilant regulations, and the unfolding narrative of consumer safety. Dive into the rigorous testing methodologies, industry responses, and the promising horizon of international cooperation aiming to foster a safer landscape in the realm of personal care products.

RAAC and asbestos could be a problem in some buildings

Raac and ruin? How concrete crisis also raises the question of asbestos

A LOT has been said recently about Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) and asbestos. While fears about the safety of RAAC continue to dominate the headlines both nationally and locally, it is the additional threat from asbestos which we believe should be discussed now as a matter of urgency. Just as RAAC is crumbling in … Read more

Asbestos consultancy, Acorn Analytical Services, will be raising money for Mesothelioma UK

Asbestos consultancy gears up for 24-hour fundraising challenge

FOR many years the team at Acorn Analytical Services has been an avid supporter of Mesothelioma UK, the only charity in the UK dedicated to supporting people affected by this deadly disease. Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibres and shockingly still kills around 5,000 people each year in the UK – … Read more