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» Back to listing New Health and Safety Executive Campaign on Asbestos

24th October 2014

The Health and Safety Executive has launched a new safety campaign as an average of 20 tradespeople die every week from asbestos related diseases. 1.3 million tradespeople are deemed to be at risk from the dangers of asbestos.

Tradespeople, including construction workers, carpenters and painters and decorators, could come into contact with deadly asbestos on average more than 100 times a year according to a new survey commissioned by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). 

As well as illustrating how often tradespeople can be exposed to asbestos, the survey revealed some common myths believed by those at risk, with 1 in seven (14 per cent) believing that drinking a glass of water will help protect them from the deadly dust and one in four (27 per cent) thinking that opening a window will help to keep them safe.

Only a third (30 per cent) of those asked, were able to identify all the correct measures for safe asbestos working, whilst more than half (57 per cent) made at least one potentially lethal mistake in trying to identify how to stay safe. 

Twenty tradespeople, on average, die every week from asbestos related diseases.  

Asbestos can be found in walls and ceilings, or the structure of a building, as well as a host of other places like floor tiles, boilers, toilet cisterns, guttering and soffits. It can be disturbed by basic maintenance work like drilling holes and sanding and once disturbed, the microscopic fibres can prove lethal if breathed in, causing lung disease and cancer.

The research, undertaken by Censuswide in September 2014, shows that while more than half (53 per cent) knew that asbestos could be in old buildings built before 1970, only 15 per cent knew that it could still be found in buildings built up to the year 2000.

For more information on asbestos safety please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos . Peak HSE Ltd can advise on Asbestos Mangement and Training.

 
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