Monthly Archives: September 2014

ATaC invest in hi-tech lab equipment for training courses

ATaC have now purchased a number of microscopes to be used by trainees on their analyst (AIR) course.

AtaC invest in hi-tech lab equipment for training coursesWe have invested in a number of microscopes to be used for our analyst (AIR) course, the course and exam is for those wishing to obtain a formal asbestos analytical qualification for air sampling and clearance testing.

The equipment can be rented for the duration of the course, by purchasing these microscopes we hope to bring peace of mind to our members when it comes to expensive equipment being moved out of their office environment, to be used whilst candidates are training.

For more information on our RSPH Certificate for Asbestos Analysts (Air) course, click here.

Mesothelioma Act 2014

On 30 January 2013, the Mesothelioma Bill received Royal Assent and is now known as the Mesothelioma Act 2014, seeking to provide compensation to those victims who have been exposed to asbestos dust.

Mesothelioma Act 2014The Mesothelioma Act 2014 seeks to provide compensation to those victims of mesothelioma who are unable to trace the employer who exposed them to asbestos dust, or their employer’s liability insurers.

Mesothelioma, which can take up to 50 years to present symptoms after exposure, has resulted in over 300 people a year struggling to find a relevant party to sue for damages, because companies become insolvent or insurance records go missing.

Passed in January, the Mesothelioma Act allows for the creation of a new package of support – funded by insurance firms – to pay in excess of 800 eligible people in 2014 and 300 every year after that, until 2024.

Around 3,500 victims of the aggressive cancer or their families were apply to for compensation from and receive a payment of around £123,000 as part of a £380 million package.

Work and Pensions Minister, Mike Penning has previously said the following: Read more

Asbestos through the ages

The United Kingdom possesses one of the highest rates of mesothelioma in the world, largely because the UK government permitted the use of asbestos UK long after other countries outlawed the mineral’s use.


Dating back to as far as 2500BC, asbestos has been a popular building material since the 1950s. It is now the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in the UK, and while asbestos manufacturers became aware of its hazards in the 1950s, most kept quiet.

Once the health-risks became known the warnings and regulations of the 1970s and beyond put an end to much of the industry, but where did it all start?

2500 B.C

The first recorded uses of asbestos dates back as early as 2500 B.C. It has been known since ancient times in both the western world and Asia as a natural wonder and a source of fibre for very expensive, and therefore rare, textile objects such as shrouds, napkins, tablecloths, and special purpose clothing.


Modern commercial asbestos use began in Italy, where it was used to make paper (even bank notes) and cloth.


Major asbestos mines opened in Canada and South Africa, with America, Italy and Russia following soon after. Asbestos was an ideal insulator for the steam engines and turbines of the Industrial Revolution. Read more

HSE report confirms serious failings in asbestos management in schools outside local authority control

Government Policy will allow asbestos in good condition to remain in situ for the life of the school building relies on schools operating good systems of asbestos management.


The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR) place duties on those who have responsibilities for the maintenance of work premises, including schools, to manage the risk from asbestos.

In 2013/14 HSE undertook an inspection initiative in schools outside of local authority control.  The initiative followed the same protocol as the 2010/11 programme but targeted a different sample of schools.  The aim of the initiative was to assess the level of compliance with CAR in a carefully structured random sample of schools.

HSE Inspectors visited a total of 153 schools – 131 in England, 11 in Scotland and 11 in Wales.  A range of school types were included – foundation, voluntary-aided, independent, academies and free schools.  This report summarises the findings and identifies key messages to help all schools manage the risks from asbestos-containing materials (ACMs).

HSE’s statistics unit collated the results of all the inspections and a detailed report is available online. Overall, the duty holders’ awareness of their legal responsibilities was 9% higher than the level found in the 2010/11 inspection programme, with 95% of schools having a full or broad understanding of the requirements.  Read more