Asbestos Awareness Training
Asbestos is still the major cause of work related deaths in 2008!
Any non-domestic premises, building, factory, sports clubs, schools, etc. built or refurbished before the year 2000 may contain asbestos which is one of the most lethal dangers in the workplace.
Every year there are still 4,000 deaths from asbestos related diseases.
This represents 80 people a week, a higher figure than those dying on our roads. It is a common misconception that asbestos was something that used to be a threat in industry.
WRONG! IT STILL IS!
Can you categorically state that your employees will never encounter asbestos or asbestos-containing materials during their work? Yes / No
Are all employees aware of where asbestos may be found? Yes / No
Do they know what to do if they find asbestos? Yes / No
Is your building completely free from asbestos? Yes / No
If you answered ‘no’ to any of the above then your organisation may be in breach of the Control of Asbestos Regulations and could be prosecuted or fined plus being exposed to justifiable claims for compensation.
The provision of training is not a matter of choice or optional, it is an absolute legal requirement for your organisation
Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006
These Regulations bring together the previous sets of Regulations covering the prohibition of asbestos, the control of asbestos at work and asbestos licensing.
The Regulations prohibit the importation, supply and use of all forms of asbestos. They continue the ban introduced for blue and brown asbestos in 1985 and for white asbestos in 1999. They also continue to ban the second-hand use of asbestos products such as asbestos cement sheets and asbestos boards and tiles; including panels which have been covered with paint or textured plaster containing asbestos.
From mid October 2008 there will be a campaign by the H&S executive to highlight the dangers from asbestos.
You could be working where asbestos is present right now.
Don’t you owe it to your employees, your workmates, your family and yourself to find out more?
Where is it?
Ceiling tiles, Floor tiles, Wall partitions, Loft insulation, Electrical switchgear, Bakelite, Fire doors, Roof slates, Profiled sheets used on roofs and walls and flat sheets in flashings, Imitation brick cladding, Rain water, drainage or flue pipes, Plaster patching compounds, Artex and other textured paints & finishes, Soffit boards and guttering, Flush boxes and water tanks, Friction products such as brake shoes, disc pads, clutch housings or lift brakes.
All activities or building works which involve drilling, sanding, sawing or removal of any Asbestos-Containing Materials will almost certainly release asbestos fibres into the air. If inhaled, asbestos fibres are likely to be deposited in the respiratory tracts and lungs which can cause irreversible scarring and leaving sections of the lungs unable to supply oxygen to the blood stream. Each subsequent exposure increases the likelihood of developing an asbestos-related disease which can result in an untimely death.
Asbestos does not pose a health risk unless the material is disturbed in such a way that asbestos dust is released into the atmosphere.
What should we do?
This has been a legal requirement under the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 that introduced the EXPLICIT duty to manage asbestos in premises.
Is anybody employed (even unpaid) in your building then they are entitled to a ‘duty of care’ under the HASAW act 74
Broadly, the duty to manage will require those in control of premises to:
· Find out if there is asbestos in the premises, amount, type and condition etc.
· Presume materials contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence to prove otherwise.
· Collate and keep an up to date record of the location and condition of the Asbestos Containing Materials or presumed Asbestos Containing Materials in the premises.
· Assess the risk from the materials.
· Prepare a plan setting out how the risks from the materials are to be managed
· Take the necessary steps to put the plan into action.
· Review and monitor the plan periodically.
· Provide information on the location and condition of the materials to anyone who is liable to work on or disturb the asbestos.
· Provide adequate knowledge and training to those involved
In simple terms this means that owners, employers and managers of non-domestic properties, (this also includes managed residential premises), will be required to assess and where relevant have in place a managed asbestos survey, whether work on the premises is planned or not.
· Get more knowledge of the subject by attending the seminar
· Know what you are drilling into, sawing, sanding or hammering.
· It may not be necessary to remove the asbestos material. It is only when it is disturbed or damaged that it presents a danger. If it is ceiling tiles it may just requiring painting with a PVA adhesive to seal..
· If you need further advice contact Allen J Wilson of Studies In Work, H&S consultancy. There are still spaces on the half day asbestos awareness training seminars being held in Gloucester later this year. Also available are places on the midlands and Eastbourne seminars. All those involved in facility management or construction should attend. Other seminars are being planned across the country on demand. If you wish to organise your own seminar please contact Studies In Work