The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recently launched the new Work Right campaign ‘Asbestos & You’ on March 6th. This campaign is to raise awareness of the risks and dangers asbestos continues to pose to tradespeople.
The Asbestos & You campaign has been created to target all tradespeople, especially those younger workers that started their careers after the ban on asbestos in 1999, as they need to be made aware of the real dangers asbestos still present to today’s generation.
The HSE are concerned that there is a perception that asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural thickening can only impact the older generation working before the asbestos ban. Due to the time it takes for symptoms to develop after exposure, it can take anything from 20 to 30 years for these to appear.
Unfortunately, this is not the case, 5000 people a year die from past exposure to asbestos. And younger workers in trades such as plastering, electrical and plumbing are still very much at risk of asbestos exposure.
Asbestos-containing materials were widely used in the construction and maintenance of buildings throughout the UK from 1950 until 1999. This means construction workers of all ages are still at risk of being exposed to asbestos when working on a residential or industrial building that was built or refurbished before the year 2000.
HSE’s chief executive Sarah Albon said: “Asbestos exposure in Great Britain is still the single greatest cause of work-related deaths. We are committed to protecting people in the workplace and reducing future work-related ill health.
“Everyone working in construction today, of any age, must take the risk from asbestos seriously.
“Asbestos is dangerous when not maintained in a safe condition or if physically disturbed without the right measures in place to avoid fibres being released into the air.”
As a dedicated UKATA (UK Asbestos Training Association) member of nearly two decades, Boss Training are acutely aware of the need to help raise awareness of this vital HSE campaign to protect future generations from the risks of asbestos and provide the essential training that individuals need. For more information on the UKATA asbestos training courses available please visit our website.
More information about the HSE campaign can be found at Asbestos & You – Work Right to Keep Britain Safe.
Alternatively, you can view the ‘Asbestos & You’ Quick Guide for Trades here.