Asbestos: the truth
As we know, asbestos is scary stuff and prolonged exposure to the fibres can lead to fatal health problems. But media hype and high profile court cases have caused a lot of confusion over how best to deal with it. Below we look at some of the facts and myths surrounding asbestos so you know where you stand.
- Around 4,500 people die every year as a result of breathing in asbestos fibres and this figure is expected to rise in the coming years.
- It is the biggest single cause of work related deaths in the UK.
- Any building built before 2000 needs an asbestos management plan
- Unless you have proof there is no asbestos in your building, you have to assume that there is.
- If you don’t have an asbestos management plan, and put it into action, you could face a fine of up to £20,000 or two years’ imprisonment. Serious breaches could be even more.
- Even simple everyday actions such as slamming doors, pinning/nailing/screwing things to walls and removing items from cupboards have been shown to disturb asbestos.
- Unless you are planning any work, you do not need to test for asbestos, but you still need a plan.
- You may not need to remove asbestos, in fact sometimes it’s actually safer to leave it and manage it rather than remove it altogether.
- If you are planning any work that could disturb asbestos, you MUST tell anyone working on it and take necessary precautions.
- You must also check the condition of any asbestos and update your plan accordingly at the very minimum, every year. This is a minimum of a year depending on the likelihood of disturbance. If, for example, it was located on a wall where a forklift works there is a high chance it could become damaged, therefore we would recommend 3 monthly checks in this area.
If you’re unsure about how to deal with asbestos in your building, please feel free to get in touch, We pride ourselves on offering genuine, impartial advice and are always happy to offer guidance on the safest, most cost-effective way to manage or remove your asbestos.