On average, 4 plumbers, 20 tradesmen, 6 electricians and 8 joiners die every week from this hidden killer.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals that have been used for over 150 years. It was widely used in the building industry from the 1950’s because of its strength, insulation and fire retardation properties, but whilst it was ideal construction, we have since learned of its deadly nature. Banned from 2000, it is still alarming to think that most buildings constructed before then are likely to contain asbestos – especially when there are over 3500 uses for the deadly mineral!
There are three types of asbestos: Crocidolite (blue), Amosite (brown) and Chrysotile (white). The blue and brown are most dangerous but it is impossible to determine if you are working with asbestos just by looking at it.
Where will you find asbestos?
Asbestos can be found on over 3500 products used on the inside and outside of buildings. For a useful guide to common uses of asbestos see the list below or you can visit the UK Heath and Safety Executive guide
> Corrugated asbestos cement roofs on farms, garages and industrial buildings
> Wall cladding
> Downpipes, gutters and flues
> Textured wall and ceiling coatings
> Boiler and pipe lagging
> Floor tiles and fuse boxes
> Fire blankets
> Old heat retardant gloves
> Toilet cisterns and bath panels
> Window sills
> Brake linings
Why not take a building tour to see where asbestos can be found.
Remember, asbestos materials will remain safe while they are in good condition and it is only when asbestos fibres become air-borne that it becomes dangerous.
Legal duty of care – managing asbestos
Legislation brought out in 2006 (Control of Asbestos Regulation 2006) means all non domestic property owners have a legal duty of care to manage asbestos. You are required to find out if there is asbestos, assess the risk, prepare a plan to manage it and then act upon it with regular reviews. You are also required to provide an information register to anyone who is likely to work on or disturb the asbestos.
You can download a short guide to managing asbestos here
There are two types of survey, a Management Survey and a Refurbishment /demolition survey –
Asbestos surveys act as a reference log for trades people who may come into contact with the substance during their work. They also monitor any risk, or deterioration and will recommend remediation work or removal if required. In the long term this will help reduce the number of people who contract asbestos related diseases in their later years.
West Coast Thermal is proud to be a long-