fbpx

Life-Changing issues surrounding asbestos removal in hot conditions

Acorn offers a comprehensive suite of asbestos consultancy services from asbestos air testing and asbestos surveys to removal management, and UKATA accredited training. We solve all your asbestos challenges swiftly to save you time, costs and stress.

Future-proof your business today, with innovative asbestos management, compliant to the most extensive of regulations.

Secure a Fast, No Obligation Quote Today

Let us know what asbestos support you need, and our expert team will promptly send you a free, no-fuss quote tailored to your requirements!

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.

More Asbestos Articles

Asbestos safety: what you need to know as a tradesperson!

Asbestos Safety – even though asbestos was banned in 1999, the substance remains an extremely dangerous presence in our older buildings. It has the potential to cause life-changing and terminal disease, which is why asbestos safety is an important part of everyday working life as a tradesperson. If you work in the trades the chances …

Read MoreAsbestos safety: what you need to know as a tradesperson!

Asbestos Knowledge Empire Podcast

What happens to asbestos waste

In this episode Ian and Neil provide a brief overview of what happens to asbestos waste following removal.

Asbestos Knowledge Empire Podcast

Interview with asbestos expert – Neil Munro

In this episode Ian takes on the role of interviewer to interview Neil. Posing questions around asbestos management, Neil’s career route and his take on the asbestos industry.

Asbestos Knowledge Empire Podcast

Interview with asbestos expert – Ian Stone

In this episode Neil takes on the role of interviewer to interview Ian. Posing questions around asbestos management, Ian’s career route and his take on the asbestos industry.

Asbestos Knowledge Empire Podcast

Asbestos Material Risk Assessments & Priority Risk Assessments

In this episode Ian and Neil talk through the algorithms of asbestos material assessments and priority risk assessments. These assessments are essential to asbestos management and understanding them is key.

Asbestos Knowledge Empire Podcast

Asbestos Emergencies – What to do

In this episode Ian and Neil explain asbestos emergency situations, when and why these may happen and what to do to minimise exposure.

Renovating a commercial property? You might need an asbestos refurbishment survey

Many of our country’s older buildings contain high levels of asbestos, and with the common change of building use we’ve seen over the last few decades – banks into restaurants, for example, or warehouses transformed into craft centres – an asbestos refurbishment survey has become an integral part of the renovation process. These vital surveys …

Read MoreRenovating a commercial property? You might need an asbestos refurbishment survey

Asbestos Knowledge Empire Podcast

Asbestos Awareness Training – What you need to know

In this episode Ian and Neil explain what you need to know about asbestos awareness training. What it is, what it should include and what to look for in a trainer.

Asbestos Knowledge Empire Podcast

Asbestos Refurbishment and Demolition Surveys

In this episode Ian and Neil provide information on asbestos refurbishment surveys and demolition surveys covering what they are, when you would require them and what to expect from them.

Asbestos Poisoning

What is asbestos poisoning and are you at risk?

The carcinogenic nature of asbestos, and the fact it was once a mainstay material used extensively in industry, means asbestos poisoning is still a threat to health even though the substance was banned in the UK in 1999. Figures published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that in 2016, 2,595 people died from …

Read MoreWhat is asbestos poisoning and are you at risk?