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newssection11 Oct 2011
Asbestos is still the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in the uk
Did you know that every week on average...
4 plumbers die
20 tradesmen die
6 electricians die
8 joiners die
from exposure to asbestos and that asbestos is still the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in the uk?
The reason asbestos is dangerous is because When these fibres are inhaled they can cause serious diseases which are responsible for around 4000 deaths a year. There are four main diseases caused by asbestos: mesothelioma (which is always fatal), lung cancer (almost always fatal), asbestosis (not always fatal, but it can be very debilitating) and diffuse pleural thickening (not fatal).
Asbestos fibres are present in the environment in Great Britain so people are exposed to very low levels of fibres. However, a key factor in the risk of developing an asbestos-related disease is the total number of fibres breathed in. Working on or near damaged asbestos-containing materials or breathing in high levels of asbestos fibres, which may be many hundreds of times that of environmental levels can increase your chances of getting an asbestos-related disease.
Asbestos related diseases won’t affect immediately but later on in life, so there is a need for you to protect yourself now to prevent you contracting an asbestos-related disease in the future. It is also important to remember that people who smoke and are also exposed to asbestos fibres are at a much greater risk of developing lung cancer.
The use of all asbestos containing materials was not banned until 1999. This means any building built or refurbished before the year 2000 could contain asbestos.
Any worker liable to disturb asbestos while performing their normal everyday work is required to be trained. Every employer must ensure that adequate information, instruction and training is given to those employees who are liable to be exposed to asbestos during the course of their work.
What type of training is necessary?
All workers who are liable to disturb asbestos during their normal work should be trained so that they can recognise asbestos containing materials and know what to do if they come across them. The training needs to be appropriate for the work and the roles undertaken by individuals. There are three types of asbestos training:
Training for work with asbestos that does not require a licence from HSE
Training for asbestos work that does require a licence from HSE.
Training is for those persons who are liable to disturb asbestos while carrying out their normal everyday work, or who may influence how work is carried out, such as:
General maintenance workers
Painters and decorators
Heating and ventilation engineers
Fire/burglar alarm installers
Please note: There are other occupations who are liable to disturb asbestos in addition to those listed in the above table.
Important - Awareness training is not enough if you plan to carry out any work with asbestos containing materials.
Encompassed provide UKATA&IATP approved asbestos training at a wide variety of different venues a across the UK and can also visit customers venues.
We also provide an Asbestos Awareness Training Webinar which enables us to train operatives from multiple sites in the UK at the same time without the need to travel. This reduces the downtime for the workforce and greatly reduces the environmental impact of our training.
This article was published at 15:40 Tue 11 October 2011.