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As the number of asbestos-related illnesses continues to surge and we hear more and more about people dying of the most severe of asbestos-related diseases, mesothelioma, the cold reality of the use of this dangerous substance is sadly coming home to roost in the UK.
If it is in good condition and not damaged in any way, the existence of asbestos in a building can be relatively safe. However, if it becomes dislodged or damaged, there is an opportunity for dust particles to be released and become airborne. These particles can then be inhaled or ingested and may enter the human body where they stay and can develop into serious illnesses in the future.
Although asbestos exposure can affect anyone, those most at risk are people who work in the construction or building industry, as these people are more likely to come into contact with it while working. If you are a tradesperson of any kind then we recommend that you read the guidance tips below on how to work safely with asbestos.
The tips are designed for guidance only and if you need specific information and advice on working with asbestos then we recommend speaking directly to the Health and Safety Executive.
Firstly, it is important to remember that there are two different ways in which you can work with asbestos as defined by the HSE. These are licensed and non-licensed work. The former is when it is considered ‘high risk’ work, where the project is likely to be long term and is not of ‘low intensity’ and if there is the identification of asbestos coating or insulation. Licensed work needs to be carried out by a licensed contractor and certain objectives and restrictions will need to be adhered to.
If you are working on a non-license project, then you could still be in danger of asbestos exposure and it is useful to know what to be aware of when possibly coming into contact with this dangerous substance. Below offers some direction on how you can limit the damage of asbestos exposure at work:
The person or people in charge of a job should undertake a number of different measures to limit and control the exposure of asbestos. These include:
If you or a member of your family has suffered because of the exposure to asbestos then you could be eligible to make a personal injury claim. For more information, please call our no win no fee solicitors at Jefferies on our national accident helpline number or complete one of our online claim forms.