Global Asbestos Awareness Week 1-7 April 2021
Each year Global Asbestos Awareness week takes place between 1-7 April. The aim is to raise awareness of asbestos – the largest cause of workplace cancer worldwide.
Asbestos was banned in the UK in 1999 but the UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) estimates there’s around 1.5 million buildings in the UK that still contain asbestos and pose a real hazard to workers.
The purpose of the awareness week is not only to highlight the issue but to bring experts together and help equip businesses, employers and employees with the information, tools and training they need to protect themselves to help prevent asbestos diseases and lower the number of deaths.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous silicate mineral and was used widely in construction during the early 20th century right up until the 1970’s when the health hazards of asbestos became widely recognised.
Why is asbestos hazardous?
If asbestos is in good condition and is not disturbed it poses no risk to health, but when it is disturbed it can break down to into sharp fibres and can be breathed in.
Asbestos fibres can lead to asbestosis (lung scarring), lung cancer or mesothelioma (cancer of the chest lining or abdominal wall), some of which are fatal.
There are specific legal duties to manage the risk from asbestos at work. In essence it requires duty holders to identify asbestos containing materials (ACMs) and presumed ACMs in their premises, record their location and condition, undertake a risk assessment, prepare and implement a plan to manage the risks and ensure that the information is passed down to those who could come into contact with any ACMs.
Speak to an expert
Whilst helping businesses to manage their requirements when working with asbestos is one of the few things that falls outside the scope of our Primed Premium Safety package, our safety consultants can still help, with our range of Bolt Ons and asbestos awareness training sessions.
Our consultants would be happy to discuss your needs, please book a free consultation.
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