Asbestos Awareness Week

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 107,000 workers around the world will die every year of an asbestos-related disease, equalling 300 deaths per day.

Mesothelioma alone killed over 2,500 people every year in the UK between 2012 to 2014.  It is estimated that 60,000 people will die of the disease over the next 30 years, unless new treatments are found.  The UK continues to have the worst mortality rates for mesothelioma in the World.

It’s a type of cancer that is terminal and affects the lining around the lungs.  The main cause is due to breathing in asbestos dust.  Although the use of products containing asbestos was banned in 1999 in the UK, it still remains in many buildings including schools, hospitals and homes.

People who work or have worked in the following trades are at higher risk of developing the disease:

  • Carpenters and joiners, construction operatives, painters and decorators, plasterers, roofers, shop fitters, general maintenance workers
  • Electricians, electrical fitters
  • Plumbers, heating and ventilation engineers, pipe fitters, gas fitters
  • Metal plate workers, shipwrights, riveters, sheet metal or shipbuilding workers, metal working production and maintenance fitters
  • Telecommunication engineers, fire/burglar alarm installers, computer and data installers
  • Energy plant operatives, vehicle body builders and repairers
  • Building inspectors, architects, building surveyors
  • Railway engineering workers
  • School caretakers, teachers
  • Those who worked for the Navy
  • Labourers in other construction related trades and demolition workers

Even if you live or lived with a worker who was exposed to asbestos you can still develop mesothelioma from asbestos fibres on their clothing, for example.

This awful disease can lay dormant for years, even decades, after exposure and most people die within months of their diagnosis.

This is why, if you or anyone that you know work in any of the above industries, they should have asbestos awareness training as a minimum.  It is a legal requirement under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 for workers and supervisors to be able to recognise any asbestos-containing materials and know what to do if they are discovered.  You can attend one of our public sessions for individuals, apply for an e-learning package or we can visit your site if you are an employer who needs several people trained at once.  Contact us to arrange a course or if you need any further advice with regards to asbestos on 01480 210195


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