Should you be concerned about asbestos?

asbestos through a scope

Blunt question – Should you bother with asbestos or be concerned about asbestos?

Asbestos is an emotive word, it brings some people out in cold sweats and other say it’s all a load of fuss about nothing.  Regardless of your current opinion let’s look at whether you should deal with any asbestos issues you may have.

Are you responsible for maintenance or repair of  a commercial property?

YES – If the answer is yes then you should be concerned about asbestos. As the responsible person you are considered the duty holder in the eyes of the law and have full responsibility not only for yourself, but for anyone in your employment and also visitors to your site.  Under the control of asbestos regulations 2012 you must manage your asbestos. This is usually by way of asbestos survey, asbestos management plan, risk assessment and control.

Still don’t feel you should be concerned about asbestos or dealing with your asbestos issues?  What would happen if you turn a blind eye to this scenario? 

The Health and Safety Executive have the power and regularly use it to issue improvement notices, prohibitions notices fines and take people and businesses to court regularly because they have failed in their duty to manage or identify asbestos.  Fines can range from hundreds of pounds all the way up to millions of pounds accumulated from fines and court costs.

Are you working on your own site or someone else’s site?

YES – Again you have a duty to yourself and others at the site to ensure you are not going to expose them to asbestos.  Your work must be planned accordingly to take into consideration any asbestos that maybe affected as part of your work, you or your employer should identify this prior to your works proceeding.

Still don’t feel you need to be concerned about asbestos or necessary to identify asbestos?

Asbestos can cause several diseases that are incurable.  The period from exposure to the disease appearing can range from 10 to 50 years.  These diseases are on the increase within the population. Following the recent death statistics released the total number of people dying each year has reached to over 5000. This is taking into consideration mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer deaths combined.

Shockingly, most people upon seeing their doctor and being diagnosed with mesothelioma are usually given three to eighteen months on average to live.

Consideration

Hopefully upon reading this you may have changed your mind regarding dealing with asbestos, either from a legal, monetary or moral standpoint.

At Acorn, we can help you with regards to any aspect of asbestos management whether you are a duty holder, a tradesperson or if you have concerns regarding your domestic home.  Feel free to get in touch with us for free advice or a quotation either by telephone 01604 648928 or our online quote form which can be found here.

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.

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