Is asbestos an issue for employers in 2013?

Asbestos Awareness

Answer: Yes it is.

A lot of people are still surprised to find out that asbestos is an issue within the UK.

The last set of figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that 4,759 people are currently dying each year from various diseases related to asbestos exposures.

This figure has increased upon previous figures and is likely to increase further!

So how does asbestos pose a risk to employers?

If asbestos can be maintained in a good condition, it is recommended that it be left alone with regular monitoring to check its condition. Its only when asbestos materials are disturbed or become damaged that it becomes a hazard.

Asbestos strands can be split into smaller and thinner fibres during disturbance. This splitting can continue on to minute levels of microscopic size.  This process is unique to asbestos and is why airborne asbestos is such a problem.

Asbestos fibres can become so small that they remain airborne longer and pass undetected by the respiratory dust defences. These microscopic fibres may become inhaled into the lungs. Once in the lungs, these fibres remain within the body and may cause significant health problems.

The occupations highest at risk from this deadly mineral are building contractors. Trades highest at risk include:

  • General maintenance staff
  • Electricians, plumbers and gas fitters
  • Painters, decorators, joiners and plasterers
  • Demolition and construction workers
  • Roofing contractors
  • Heating, ventilation and telecommunication engineers
  • Fire and burglar alarm installers
  • Architects and building surveyors
  • Shop fitters

Asbestos Awareness

Although these trades are thought to be in the highest risk category, there is still a significant risk to everyday occupants of buildings.

This risk comes from the fact it has been estimated that between 1.5 million to 2 million industrial / commercial buildings still contain asbestos.

Additionally it is estimated that approximately 2.4 million domestic premises also contain asbestos!

How do you prevent asbestos becoming an issue as an employer?

 Answer: Asbestos Awareness Training.

Whether you bake bread, work in an office or refurbish buildings for a living, asbestos should be top of the agenda for any employer.

 The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 states:

 “Every employer must ensure that any employee employed by that employer is given adequate information, instruction and training”

By law asbestos awareness training is required to be given to persons who are liable to disturb asbestos while carrying out their normal everyday work, or who may influence how work is carried out.

The purpose of this training is to ensure awareness amongst those that could potentially come into contact with asbestos containing materials during their everyday work activities.

Asbestos awareness training is designed to promote sufficient awareness and reduce ‘accidental disturbance’ followed by ‘exposure to airborne asbestos fibre’.

Asbestos awareness training should include:

  • What is asbestos
  • Where was it used
  • What products contain asbestos
  • Where was it used?
  • Why is it hazardous
  • What health effects are attributed to asbestos?
  • Who is at risk?
  • Emergency procedures
  • Overview asbestos regulations / management

Further information on asbestos awareness training can be found on our asbestos awareness training page.

If you require help with any of the above or you would like to book an asbestos awareness training course, please contact us today!

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

England star Stuart Pearce has helped to raise awareness of mesothelioma

Mesothelioma: How an England footballer is bringing home the dangers of this hidden killer

THIS afternoon, England’s Three Lions made a winning start to their World Cup campaign beating Iran in their first match in Qatar. But one footballing legend fears he could be in danger of developing mesothelioma after starting his career as an electrician in the 1980s. While former England legend Stuart Pearce is now undoubtedly best … Read more

Viviana, one of the newest members of Acorn's team

Team talk: Meet Viviana one of the talented new recruits at Acorn Analytical Services

WITH the UK in the grip of an asbestos epidemic, recruiting talented, experienced staff to join the award-winning team of experts at Acorn Analytical Services has never been more important. Despite being banned in new buildings more than 20 years ago, asbestos remains a huge problem for many businesses and, as a result, demand for … Read more

It's time to learn your asbestos ABC

Asbestos: How learning your ABC could help us to save lives

At Acorn Analytical Services we have one very simple message – ABC – or Asbestos Before Construction. It’s a simple message but it’s also an important one. Before carrying out building work of any kind you must check for the presence of asbestos first. Not doing so could have potentially serious implications for the health … Read more

Our Movember heroes, Lewis, Dave and Dan

Meet Dave, Dan and Lewis – Acorn’s amazing Movember heroes

AS we start November, Acorn Analytical Services is very proud to be supporting Movember, the annual charity event which shines a spotlight on men’s health, in particular, mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. We pride ourselves on being at the heart of our community and we always try to give back … Read more

Asbestos management company is growing

Acorn Analytical Services: An ambitious asbestos management company which continues to grow

FROM small acorns strong businesses grow – something that everyone at Acorn Analytical Services is extremely proud of. Even in turbulent times, Acorn Analytical Services continues to lead the way, offering reliable asbestos management services to a wide range of businesses and organisations – from well-known high street brands to local schools and colleges. In … Read more

Asbestos training

Asbestos training: Acorn Analytical Services launches free session to build knowledge among architects

ASBESTOS has once again dominated the headlines this week reaffirming our worst fears that the UK is in the grip of an asbestos epidemic. Many older buildings, including factories, schools and hospitals, contain this dangerous material which over time is starting to degrade. It’s a ticking timebomb and, as one of the UK’s leading consultancies, … Read more

Mesothelioma dangers in the classroom

Mesothelioma: We must protect our teachers from any hidden dangers

BEHIND every statistic we read about mesothelioma there lies a story – the story of another life lost from prolonged exposure to asbestos. Sadly, over the years it’s a story that has become all too familiar. Despite being banned in the UK more than 20 years ago, asbestos is still all around us – in … Read more

Asbestos industry turbulence: Acorn remains strong

Asbestos industry turbulence: Acorn Analytical Services is strong, dynamic and well-placed to weather the storm

WHILE economic uncertainty may be starting to bite in the asbestos industry, Acorn Analytical Services continues to go from strength to strength offering essential support to clients right across the UK. With more than 20 years’ experience in the asbestos and health and safety industry, we’ve become a trusted partner to a growing number of … Read more

Mesothelioma day 2022

Mesothelioma Day: Shining a light on the work of Mesothelioma UK

TODAY, September 26, marks Mesothelioma Day in the US, an important day to raise awareness of the disease and of the dangers of asbestos worldwide. Even though asbestos was banned from new buildings in the UK more than 20 years ago, it is a problem we all still live with. Many buildings, including factories, schools … Read more

Behind the scenes of our laboratories

The science bit: Putting the important work of our laboratories under the microscope

AMONG the experts at Acorn Analytical Services is a dedicated team of laboratory analysts who work in our in-house laboratories in Northampton and Cleckheaton. Their work involves supporting our consultants, and our clients, by analysing samples of materials which are found on-site or sent to us to be investigated. Here we take a more detailed … Read more