There is no room for complacency when it comes to handling asbestos as the latest figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show.
Despite being banned in the use of new buildings since 1999, the building material, which was hugely popular in the 1950s and 1960s, is still a huge problem in older homes and buildings such as offices, factories, hospitals and schools where it can be a serious risk to health if the fibres are disturbed.
The latest figures released by the HSE show that 2,544 people died from mesothelioma, the cancer which is caused by exposure to asbestos in 2020 – a 6% rise on the figures from 2019. A large proportion of those cases would have arisen from exposure in the 1980s when asbestos was a commonly used building product.
It’s a timely reminder that this problem hasn’t gone away, in fact, effective management is perhaps more important now than ever.
As always, Acorn Analytical Services is here to help.
Am I at risk if I work in construction?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the people most at risk of exposure are those who work in construction, particularly plumbers and builders.
According to the HSE, asbestos kills 20 tradespeople a week and despite the obvious risks, some contractors still do not comply with rules and regulations which are there to keep everybody safe.
If you’re working on a construction site, Acorn Analytical Services can offer air testing, which measures the levels of fibres which are present in the air at any time, before, during or after the work has taken place.
As one of the leading independent health and safety consultancies in the country, we also offer health and safety advice, construction design and management (CDM) support and construction safety audits too.
What do I need to know?
The law around the management of asbestos is complex, but for very good reason, as we can see from this latest set of statistics.
The only way to ensure you fully comply with law is by carrying out a full survey on your premises. If you are a landlord, health and safety or facilities manager then you are the dutyholder and responsible for ensuring this is carried out.
Once the survey has been completed, we can work out how to effectively manage the asbestos in your building to ensure it doesn’t cause any harm, now or in the future.
If you plan to remove it, we can help you manage the process safely and efficiently, within your timeframe and your budget – and always to the highest possible standards.
Where can I get more information?
Acorn Analytical Services is fully independent and a trusted partner to many businesses, charities and organisations.
We are constantly updating the range of information and resources we have available to ensure everyone can be aware of the dangers.
A good starting point is our best-selling guide book, which includes lots of facts and useful pointers about how to stay safe. You can find lots of articles in our blog and our podcast, Asbestos: Knowledge Empire also features a number of interviews and discussions with myself and director, Ian Stone about the latest issues facing our industry.
The worst thing you can do is ignore asbestos – get in touch today and find out how we can help you.
Acorn is a professional asbestos consultancy helping organisations deal with asbestos compliance using asbestos surveys, asbestos 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