Asbestos refers to a group of six varieties of naturally occurring minerals. These minerals are made up of microscopic but extremely durable fibres which are resistant to heat, fire and many chemicals – which goes along way to explaining why it was such a popular construction material for centuries.
Why is Asbestos a Risk?
However, these fibres are also extremely dangerous and, when inhaled, can lead to life-threatening diseases developing later in life. Although any member of the public is at risk from asbestos, there is a group of people who are far more at risk than others. Namely, builders, construction works and odd job men.
Being surrounded by buildings which may potentially contain asbestos day-in-day-out, such workers put their lives on the line each day.
In light of this, this month, ProDEM will be offering some tips on how to stay safe when working with asbestos.
How can I know a building may contain asbestos?
In short, asbestos can be found in any building built before the year 2000, including houses, factories, offices, schools and hospitals. Consequently, this means that there are still thousands of buildings across the UK which contain asbestos.
If you are working on a building that was erected before this year, then you must proceed with great caution as to not disturb the fibres.
However, in such a situation, we would always recommend that you enlist a reputable professional service to check the area first. Above all, they will always be armed with the equipment and expertise to ensure that asbestos is identified and disposed of in a safe manner.
6 Tips for working safely with asbestos
#1 Unsure? Always ask your employer
If you are suspicious that you have found asbestos in the building in which you are working, stop work immediately and speak to your employer. They will be able to decide whether a licensed contractor is needed.
#2 Use protective equipment and clothing
Always use the protective equipment provided, including a suitable facemask worn in the correct way.
#3 Clean as you go
If you are undertaking a task which produces a lot of waste, make sure that you clean up as you go, this will stop any unwanted waste building up.
#4 Double bag all waste
Speaking of waste, make sure that all waste is double-bagged and is disposed of properly in a licensed tip.
#5 Have a wash
Another essential tip is to always wash when you get the chance, ideally before breaks – and certainly before going home.
#6 Attend training
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, make sure you have had adequate training, specifically training related to asbestos, before you start any work.
We offer full Asbestos removal services, contact us today for more information.
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ProDEM provide a completely safe, efficient and effective asbestos removal service throughout Nottingham, Derby, Leicester and the surrounding areas.
Our highly trained team of experts use their knowledge and experience to identify, handle, remove and dispose of asbestos to the strictest standards of safety. We understand the dangers of asbestos, and carry out all our work with complete professional care.