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

Repair 3

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 are you’ll come into contact with asbestos at some point, but there are so many construction-related trades it can potentially affect the health of huge numbers of people.

Why is asbestos safety vital for tradespeople?

Asbestos was widely used in construction to fireproof and insulate commercial, industrial, and residential buildings. It can be present in various forms, including spray coatings, cement products, textiles, and boarding, so you’re likely to come across the substance at some point if you work on properties that were built before 2000.

Statistics published in a 2018 Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report show asbestos still causes over 5,000 deaths in this country.¹

  • 2,595 from mesothelioma in 2016
  • A similar number linked to asbestos-related lung cancer
  • 500 asbestosis deaths

With figures unlikely to drop until the next decade, it’s vital for tradespeople to take asbestos safety seriously. But what can happen if you come across asbestos or asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) during your working day?

Asbestos safety at work

When asbestos-containing materials are disturbed or start to degrade they can release microscopic fibres that are easily inhaled. Breathing in asbestos fibres is known to set up serious health conditions in later life, sometimes several decades after the initial exposure.

Typically, no symptoms are experienced until a late stage, which makes asbestos-related diseases such as mesothlioma very difficult to treat. The recent mortality rates above show how serious asbestos exposure can be, and why you need to prioritise asbestos safety.   

Putting safety first when you come into contact with asbestos

The message from the Health and Safety Executive is to leave asbestos materials untouched if you encounter them at work, or you come across materials that you suspect could contain asbestos.

Being able to identify asbestos in all its forms, therefore, is crucial, and asbestos training can help in this respect. Asbestos awareness training teaches you about different types of asbestos, their properties, effects on health, and likely locations within a building.

It’s intended to help you avoid work that could bring you into contact with the substance, or be able to identify it so you don’t disturb asbestos-containing materials if they’re encountered unexpectedly.

Acorn Analytical Services offers UKATA asbestos awareness training to help you stay safe at work. We prioritise asbestos safety for all tradespeople, helping to reduce the chances of accidentally disturbing asbestos at work and breathing in the fibres. For more information on this and any other asbestos-related issue, please contact one of our highly trained consultants.   

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

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!

boiler room e1604325326231

Specifications for Asbestos Removal Works – What’s the Point?

Why do we need specifications for removing asbestos? Surely, asbestos removal is just asbestos removal? The truth is there are a million different ways to do asbestos removal. There are different ways to approach projects. The purpose of the specification is to get the clients the right end result. For example, if you were having …

Read MoreSpecifications for Asbestos Removal Works – What’s the Point?