New figures from the Health and Safety Executive suggest that an average of twenty tradespeople die every week as a result of asbestos related illnesses and in line with this they have launched a brand new campaign to raise awareness.
The newest survey carried out by the HSE suggests tradespeople, including carpenters, painters and construction workers may come into contact with sources of deadly asbestos as many as 100 times a year. The survey also found that exposure to asbestos is more common than most people thought and revealed that many myths around avoiding and preventing asbestos exposure are genuinely believed. The survey found that:
- 14% of people surveyed believed that drinking a glass of water would provide protection from the deadly asbestos dust
- 27% of people surveyed believed that having a window open would help them keep safe
Worryingly only 30% of all people surveyed could recognise all of the correct safety procedures for safe asbestos working and even more seriously 57% made at least one mistake which could be potentially lethal, when trying to describe how to stay safe.
Think About Safety
The Health and Safety wants to encourage all tradespeople to keep asbestos as the forefront of their minds on every job and be ready to handle with the potential danger appropriately. The new safety campaign was launched on the 9th October to raise awareness and with support from TradePoint, asbestos safety kits will be made available to tradespeople through their stores based across the UK.
The other innovative element of this new HSE campaign is that it comes with an interactive and easy to use app. The app can be downloaded onto smartphones, tablets and laptops and offers a straight-forward and simple guide to the potential sources of asbestos, their dangers and how to deal with sources of the deadly material.
One of the most deadly and harrowing conditions related to asbestos is mesothelioma and this leads to many deaths every single year. Employers who don’t provide their workers with the right safety guidance and equipment when working could be found liable, even many years down the line, when a former worker is diagnosed with and suffers greatly from the disease.
Asbestos may no longer be used in construction or related industries but this doesn’t mean it isn’t present. Much work carried out is on older buildings and this means the risk of asbestos is still very high and it remains a very real danger.
Understanding the dangers of asbestos is one thing but remembering to heed them when working in a pressured environment is another. However, the risks to your health and even your life if you don’t keep safety concerns at the forefront of your mind are very high and worth the extra few minutes of precaution. This is something site managers and foremen should agree with too, for the protection of their workers and the company.
To download the new Health and Safety web app follow this link: http://www.beware-asbestos.info/news.