Asbestos FAQs - Health & Safety Training Ltd

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Asbestos FAQs

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Asbestos FAQs

Why does my building have asbestos in it?

Asbestos is used in buildings around the world, and has been since its ubiquity really took off in the 1900s. It’s cheap, it’s durable and it offered insulation as well as protection against fire.

What are the dangers of asbestos?

There are a number of dangers associated with exposure to asbestos. In fact, around 5,000 workers die in asbestos-related cases every year. In particular, exposure to asbestos can cause:

  • Mesothelioma – A cancer affecting the lining of the lungs and the lining of the lower digestive system. It has an extremely high fatality rate
  • Asbestosis – A scarring of the lung, often due to prolonged, heavy exposure to asbestos. Consequences range from shortness of breath to death, in the most severe cases
  • Pleural thickening – This is the swelling and thickening of the lung lining, which can cause the lung to squeeze, leading to shortness of breath and chest discomfort.

Why does asbestos need removing?

As the effects we’ve outlined above show, asbestos can be very dangerous to people who come into contact with it. Cases range from long-term health problems like chest pains and shortness of breath, to fatal diseases like mesothelioma and lung cancer.

How can I tell if asbestos is in my building?

If your building was built before the year 2000, and it’s not been refurbished since, asbestos might be present in it. If you’re unsure, you can order an asbestos survey, whereby professionals can inspect your property for the presence of the substance, and then advise you accordingly on the next steps.

What jobs can expose me to asbestos?

There’s a wide range of jobs that can result in exposure to asbestos, either by accident or a direct consequence of that particular line of work. Such jobs include:

  • Heating and ventilation engineers
  • Demolition workers
  • Plumbers
  • Painters and decorators
  • Construction workers
  • Carpenters and joiners
  • Gas engineers
  • Electricians
  • Building surveyors

How can I minimise asbestos-related risks?

You can take steps to ensure that you and those around you benefit from minimal exposure to asbestos.

  • Asbestos-containing materials should be identified before any work starts on the site
  • Information regarding asbestos-containing materials should be passed on to the relevant people
  • A risk assessment must be carried out before any other work starts
  • Findings of this assessment must be passed to relevant persons
  • Those who could potentially be working with asbestos should be fully trained in best practice and health and safety regulations
  • Take the correct precautions – wear the right protective clothing and use the right equipment

Where might I find asbestos in a building?

For industrial properties properties, you can find it in the below:

  • Asbestos cement may be present around a water tank
  • Loose fill insulation
  • Asbestos Insulating Boarding (AIB) in partition walls and panels in fire doors
  • Vinyl floor tiles
  • AIB around boilers
  • Various textiles, such as fire blankets
  • Artex coatings on walls and ceilings
  • Asbestos cement panels
  • Asbestos cement gutters and pipes
  • Soffits

Where might I find asbestos in my home?

  • Gutters and asbestos cement pipes
  • Asbestos cement roofing
  • Roofing felt
  • AIB is present in:
    • Ceiling tiles
    • Bath panels
    • Behind fuse box
    • Around boiler
    • Interior window panel

Health & Safety Training are proud to be a leading provider of a wide range of training courses in the North East. If you’d like to know more, please get in touch with us today and we’ll be happy to help.

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