Asbestos is a subject everyone knows of, but knows nothing about. This is scary considering the magnitude of its affects, asbestos is the cause of over 3,400 deaths a year and rising.
Do you work in a building built before 2000? Maintenance or refurbishment? Then asbestos is most likely to be present within the building.
If you are in control of a non domestic premises, then you have a duty to manage and this requires you to have a survey. If you have an asbestos management survey, so far so good.
Now take a walk of the premises to make sure that nothing has changed – for example, have existing broken holes increased in number or size, and do all areas have adequate signage of the warnings of the presence of asbestos?
If you do not have a survey, you’ll need to have a survey as soon as possible. When carrying out works that will break the fabric of a pre 2000 building a demolition survey will be needed to be carried out BEFORE WORK STARTS! Not after or during, but before and this should be done by a competent surveyor.
So what do we do when we think we have disturbed or found asbestos?
Don’t be afraid to say no. If you think you are being exposed to asbestos then speak up, talk to your management or principal contractor site management! Asbestos needs to be identified controlled and managed.
Don’t put your life or others in danger.