Worried about asbestos health effects? Let us provide reassurance.

  • This week marks Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2024
  • Thousands of people die in the UK from past exposure to asbestos each year.
  • Many of these deaths are preventable.
  • Ensure you manage exposure to asbestos to your workers.
  • Read on to find more about asbestos awareness course, and how we can help.

asbestos awareness course

Hidden Dangers: Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2024

Despite advancements in workplace safety regulations and increased awareness of occupational hazards, Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2024 exists to highlight the fact that the dangers of asbestos still loom large.

Once hailed for its versatility and durability, asbestos has left a dark legacy of illness and death to those exposed to it. Today, asbestos remains a significant danger to workers, particularly those in trades that often disturb asbestos-containing materials (ACMs.)

Around 5000 people a year die from past exposure to asbestos. This highlights the crucial need for stringent safety measures and proactive management in workplaces where its presence persists.

A Brief History of Asbestos

The history of asbestos is one marked by admiration and tragedy. Revered for its fire-resistant properties and tensile strength, asbestos found widespread use in various industries throughout the 20th century. From insulation and roofing materials to textiles and automotive parts, its versatility seemed unmatched. However, as early as the 1920s, reports emerged linking asbestos exposure to respiratory ailments among workers. Despite mounting evidence of its dangers, widespread regulation and bans on asbestos did not occur until much later, leaving countless workers and consumers vulnerable to its harmful effects.

Why Is Asbestos Still a Workplace Danger?

Asbestos continues to pose a significant danger in the workplace due to its unique characteristics. Disturbing asbestos-containing material (ACM) can release invisible fibres into the air. Once airborne, these fibres can be easily breathed in, leading to severe lung diseases such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. What makes these diseases particularly insidious is their latency period, ranging from 15 to 60 years after exposure. There are no sudden changes in health, making it challenging to detect and treat these diseases early. Unfortunately, they are often incurable and fatal. Therefore, it is imperative to protect workers now to prevent them contracting asbestos-related diseases in the future.

Your Responsibilities  

Employers have a responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their workers, especially concerning hazardous substances like asbestos. Regarding asbestos, responsibility is particularly crucial for trades likely to disturb asbestos, including electricians, joiners, plumbers, gas fitters, shop fitters, heating and ventilation engineers, labourers, roofers, plasterers, demolition workers, phone and data engineers, alarm installers, surveyors, general maintenance engineers, painters, and decorators.

Responsibilities include conducting thorough risk assessments, implementing appropriate control measures, providing adequate training to employees, and maintaining records of asbestos-related activities. Failure to comply with these responsibilities can lead to legal consequences and, more importantly, endanger the health of workers.

HSE’s Asbestos and You campaign includes useful information to help you understand your responsibilities, including a useful tool to help you understand if you have the duty to manage asbestos in your workplace.

Control Measures for Asbestos

Effective control measures are essential for mitigating the risks associated with asbestos exposure. This could include:

  • Identification and Assessment: Conducting surveys to identify asbestos-containing materials within the workplace and assessing the risk of exposure.
  • Encapsulation or Enclosure: Sealing or enclosing asbestos-containing materials to prevent the release of fibres into the air.
  • Removal or Remediation: Safely removing asbestos materials by trained professionals or employing remediation techniques to reduce exposure risks.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Providing workers with appropriate PPE such as respirators, coveralls, and gloves to minimize direct contact and inhalation of asbestos fibres.
  • Training and Education: Ensuring all employees receive comprehensive training on asbestos awareness, handling procedures, and emergency response protocols.

How Can LRB Consulting Help?

Need help understanding your responsibilities?

Looking for Asbestos Awareness training? We can deliver

It is your duty to acknowledge the ongoing threat posed by asbestos and take proactive measures to protect the health and safety of your workforce. By implementing robust control measures, adhering to regulatory requirements, and fostering a culture of safety, we can strive towards minimizing the risks associated with asbestos exposure and ensuring a healthier future for all.