Tag Archives: exposure to asbestos

HSE campaign for 1.3m workers at risk from asbestos

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

Safer sitesAs well as illustrating how often tradespeople could be exposed to asbestos, the survey revealed some common myths believed by those at risk. One person in seven (14%) believed drinking a glass of water would protect them, and one in four (27%) thought opening a window would keep them safe.

Only a third (30%) of respondents were able to identify all the correct measures for safe asbestos working, while more than half (57%) made at least one potentially lethal mistake when trying to identify how to stay safe.

On average, 20 tradespeople 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 including floor tiles, boilers, toilet cisterns, guttering and soffits.

It can be disturbed by basic maintenance work such drilling holes and sanding, and once disturbed the microscopic fibres can cause potentially lethal lung disease and cancer. Read more

NHS Trust in court after workers potentially exposed to asbestos

The latest issue of ARCA News reported that a NHS Trust has been fined after it was found likely to have exposed workers to potentially fatal asbestos material for more than a decade at its three hospitals in Hertfordshire.

NHSBetween April 2000 and December 2011, the estates team at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust was maintaining buildings at Watford General Hospital, Hemel Hempstead Hospital and St Albans Hospital without knowing that asbestos was present or being trained to identify and control exposure.

The estates team, whose work is to carry out small repairs and maintenance projects where external contractors are not needed, could have disturbed asbestos fibres in the course of a job, but would have had no way of knowing or of protecting themselves.

St Albans Crown Court was told that over the 11-year period, the Trust had identified some of the asbestos materials at their sites but did not have a management or monitoring plan in place to control the risks associated with the deadly fibre. Read more