Life-Changing issues surrounding asbestos removal in hot conditions

Asbestos Removal in hot conditions

Working with asbestos brings many complications and there are many risks which need to be assessed and actions are taken to reduce those risks. However, asbestos removal in hot conditions can pose a significate risk to the health of the workers involved.

Examples of asbestos removal in hot conditions

Asbestos removal quite often happens in locations which are not the nicest of places. Quite often though these places can be affected by temperature and that they are hot or can become hot. Examples of hot places or locations are:

  • Boiler rooms and plant rooms
  • Service risers
  • Ducts and confined spaces
  • Undercrofts
  • Attics/lofts in summer
  • Working outside in summer e.g. polyethene asbestos enclosures
  • Glazed rooms e.g. green houses/summerhouse/ conservatory-style buildings

What is the issue with asbestos removal in hot conditions?

Essentially it is the heat and what effect that has on the body. Normal human body temperature is 37°C but does vary slightly. Body temperature may be 0.6°C above or below which can even vary throughout the day depending on what you’re doing and the time of the day. A body temperature above 40°C can be fatal without urgent attention.

The body can cool itself even if the temperature is hotter in the environment than body temperature. However, during asbestos removal, this process can be impeded by the very nature of the active working and by the RPE (Respirator Protective Equipment) and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) that are required to be worn to complete the works safely. Sweating can also be impeded in high hot moisture areas i.e. hot steam rooms.

What other risks do you need to consider when working in hot areas?

Heat or hot items can pose additional risks and problems during asbestos removal and with asbestos enclosures.

The heat can cause asbestos enclosures to melt or even fall down. Generally, asbestos enclosures are constructed using polythene sheeting, cloth adhesive tape and on occasions the use of spray adhesive glue. At raised temperatures, the adhesives can melt causing the enclosure to collapse.

Additional hot risks can come from the heat sources themselves. Such as steam pipes or heating pipes which bring a risk of serious burns from a first degree where only the outer layer of the skin is affected up to fourth-degree burns where burns go through the layers of the skin and affect the deeper tissue affecting the muscle and bone.

What are the symptoms of heat stress during asbestos removal?

Heat stress can affect individuals in different ways, and some people are more susceptible to it than others.

Typical symptoms are:

  • An inability to concentrate
  • Muscle cramps
  • Heat rash
  • Severe thirst – a late symptom of heat stress
  • Fainting
  • Heat exhaustion – fatigue, giddiness, nausea, headache, moist skin
  • Heat stroke – hot dry skin, confusion, convulsions and eventual loss of consciousness. This is the most severe disorder and can result in death if not detected at an early stage

What can you do to reduce the risk during asbestos removal in hot conditions?

Firstly, can you eliminate the risk from the heat? Can you turn off the boilers thus eliminating the heat source. Can you postpone the works until winter or a time when the location will be cooler?

If you cannot eliminate the risk, then you will need to reduce the risk as far and as low as possible.

Examples of this could be to:

  • Introduce greater airflow into the enclosure with additional negative pressure.
  • Introduce air coolers or conditioning units to lower the temperature
  • Reduce working times and introduce regular breaks. Prevent dehydration by supplying cool water and encourage works to drink frequently.
  • Ensure the operatives are adequately trained. Advise on the risks of heat stress, what the symptoms to look out for safe working practises emergency procedures.

If you would like help with your next asbestos removal project, call our highly experienced asbestos removal project managers at Acorn Analytical Services.

We’re a professional asbestos consultancy helping businesses deal with asbestos compliance using asbestos surveys, asbestos testing, and asbestos removal. Please call one of the team, or use the online form to obtain your free quotation.

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

JANshutterstock 1381443422 sml

Weird locations and uses of asbestos

In this blog we’re looking at the weird and wonderful locations and uses of asbestos that we’ve come across. Asbestos was used everywhere and thousands of different materials had asbestos added to them. Kent cigarettes One example that springs to mind is the old American Kent cigarette brand which contained asbestos in their filter. The …

Read MoreWeird locations and uses of asbestos

Joe Gore 6 scaled e1609755591688

Focus on our Birmingham Office lead Joe Gore

Back in November we were thrilled to reveal we had launched a new office in Birmingham which is being expertly led by Asbestos Consultant Joe Gore. Joe has been incredibly busy working on a wide variety of projects across the West Midlands since then but we caught up with him to find out how he …

Read MoreFocus on our Birmingham Office lead Joe Gore

Acorn Analytical Services Asbestos Solutions commecial photography 55

Why you should use lockdown to deal with your asbestos

So here we are entering a New Year. Traditionally, a time for optimism and new beginnings but this week’s announcement of the latest national lockdown left many businesses reeling. Almost a year on from the first national lockdown you could be forgiven for thinking we’re living through some kind of strange Groundhog Day but the …

Read MoreWhy you should use lockdown to deal with your asbestos

Acorn Analytical Services Asbestos Solutions commecial photography 36

Don’t fall foul of the law – make sure you get the correct Asbestos Survey

At Acorn Analytical Services we invest a lot of time into making people aware about the dangers of asbestos for two key reasons. One is the human cost – exposure to asbestos can cause life-changing illnesses and incurable cancers – and the second reason is the cost it poses to businesses. It is so important …

Read MoreDon’t fall foul of the law – make sure you get the correct Asbestos Survey

Acorn Analytical Services Asbestos Solutions commecial photography 28

£2bn Government gold rush could be an asbestos minefield

This autumn, the Government launched a new scheme to promote home insulation. It is subsidising home insulation ventures with grants of up to £5,000 which can be used to install insulation, double glazing, smart controls and more. This is great news for the environment and for the economy however, we do have concerns about it. …

Read More£2bn Government gold rush could be an asbestos minefield

Collage e1608286815218

Fighting back against asbestos-related cancer

Acorn Analytical Services is backing a new campaign aimed at putting asbestos and asbestos-related diseases in the national spotlight to raise awareness and eradicate the material and the devastating conditions it causes. Campaign group, Action Meso, is uniting those impacted by mesothelioma – an incurable but preventable cancer caused by asbestos – to give them …

Read MoreFighting back against asbestos-related cancer

scientist 2141259 1920 e1607618409539

Don’t become an asbestos-related death statistic

Anyone who follows our activities at Acorn will know that we are dedicated to raising awareness about the dangers posed by asbestosis. We regularly release informative podcasts, blogs and have produced a number one best-selling book called Asbestos The Dark Arts to show businesses and individuals why it is so important to manage their asbestos …

Read MoreDon’t become an asbestos-related death statistic

birthday 1835443 1920

From small Acorns grow great asbestos management companies

Despite all the challenges that 2020 has thrown at us we are pleased to be ending the year on a high. It is with great pleasure that we can say this month Acorn Analytical Services has celebrated its 20th anniversary. The business first set down roots in the north of England two decades ago and …

Read MoreFrom small Acorns grow great asbestos management companies

WP 6441 Original 39554 scaled e1606141093410

Celebrate Your Unique Talent

Did you know every year November 24th is observed as Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day? No matter how unique or different your talent is, today is the day that you are encouraged to share it with others. Here at Acorn we aren’t shy about our talent. We are the leading experts when it comes to …

Read MoreCelebrate Your Unique Talent

JG Brum Small

Acorn Opens New Birmingham office!

We have some exciting news… We have expanded with the opening of a new Birmingham office! The new office is located on Bristol Road South and will be led by Joe Gore (pictured) and staffed by people from the Birmingham area. Not only will this new office help us to better service our existing clients …

Read MoreAcorn Opens New Birmingham office!