Don’t become an asbestos-related death statistic

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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 effectively.

If anyone is in any doubt as to why we invest so much effort into educating people I’d point them towards the HSE’s recently released 2020 asbestos-related disease statistics for Great Britain.

Sadly, 20 years on from asbestos being banned in the UK, the report makes for sombre reading as, according to the HSE, there are still more than 5,000 asbestos-related deaths a year.

The report states in 2018 there were 2,446 deaths from mesothelioma – a cancer that develops in the lining covering the outer surface of some of the body’s organs which is usually linked to asbestos exposure. There were a similar number of lung cancer deaths linked to past exposures to asbestos and 503 deaths were connected to asbestosis – a lung disease that develops due to inhalation of asbestos.

Whilst there are treatments to manage mesothelioma and asbestosis there is no known cure for either disease. Mesothelioma cases are often rapidly fatal following the onset of symptoms while asbestosis may progress over time to seriously affect normal daily activity and lead to complications which can be fatal.

Widespread use of asbestos products in the past – particularly in the post-Second World War building industry – has led to a large increase in asbestos-related disease in Great Britain over the last few decades.

Annual deaths have increased steeply over the last 50 years, largely as a result of asbestos exposure prior to 1980, and are expected to continue at current levels for the rest of the decade.

You may wonder why this is something we need to worry about today, two decades on from the UK’s ban on the use of asbestos. Although we haven’t used asbestos in new buildings since 1999 the material remains within the structure of older buildings up and down the length and breadth of the country. Experts believe as many as 1.5 million UK properties still contain asbestos, including workplaces, schools, hospitals, other public buildings and homes. This is why we often refer to asbestos as the ‘hidden killer’.

If you own a building older than 20 years old you have a legal responsibility to ensure any asbestos is effectively monitored and managed to ensure the safety of anyone who may come into contact with it. The condition of the material needs to be regularly assessed and the whereabouts of asbestos should be at the forefront of your mind ahead of any construction, restoration or refurbishment project.

Failure to effectively manage asbestos not only puts lives at risk it can lead to fines of hundreds of thousands of pounds and even prison terms.

We appreciate how frightening this can be for many businesses which is why we have produced the Acorn Asbestos Antidote to take the asbestos headache away from our clients. By following our comprehensive guide businesses can stop worrying about all the regulations and red tape that comes with managing asbestos.

The step-by-step guide takes our clients from non-compliance with the law through to full compliance so they don’t need to fear anyone getting hurt or visits from the Health and Safety Inspector.

The best part about it is that the majority of the work to ensure compliance is done by us so our clients can go back to doing what they do best safe in the knowledge that asbestos no longer poses them a danger.

To find out more about the Acorn Asbestos Antidote and to order the Official Guidebook visit www.acorn-as.com/acorn-asbestos-antidote or call 0844 818 0895.

Ian Stone

I am based out of our Northampton office but regularly travel to meet with new and existing clients. I have assisted thousands of clients over the years on varying-sized projects, several have been schemes totalling over one million pounds spent purely on asbestos. Together with Neil Munro, I host our weekly podcast – Asbestos Knowledge Empire and I am Co-author of Asbestos The Dark Arts and Fear and Loathing of Health and Safety.

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