RealWire
RealWire
Branch Unspecified
06 Nov 2008

Asbestos – it’s not worth the risk

With one person every five hours[3] killed by mesothelioma in the UK, 3M is supporting the essential HSE campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos in the workplace.

Asbestos exposure is Britain’s biggest workplace killer[1]. Twenty tradespeople a week die from asbestos-related diseases and deaths continue to rise.[2] To support the HSE’s campaign, 3M has produced a new Technical Bulletin covering the issues surrounding asbestos and its effects, as well as the necessary PPE required for non-licensed asbestos work in the UK. Copies are available from the website 3M UK & Ireland: Occupational Health & Environmental Safety - Filter Support or by calling the 3M’s UK Health and Safety Helpline on 0870 60 800 60.

You may be more exposed to asbestos than you think. Recent statistics from the HSE state that:-

- Asbestos is responsible for more than 4000 deaths every year, and it could still be hiding in anything built or refurbished before the year 2000
- Every week 20 tradespeople die from this hidden killer
- Numbers of asbestos related deaths in the UK are expected to continue rise with cases set to peak between 2011 and 2015.[3]

A recent survey carried out by the British Lung Foundation[4] revealed that:
- One in ten tradespeople (11%) say they have felt under pressure to continue working even if they have suspected asbestos is present
- Nearly a third (30%) of tradespeople mistakenly believe most asbestos has now been removed
- Four out of five tradespeople (81%) never, rarely or only sometimes ask if the site they are working on has been checked for asbestos before they start the job, even though it is a legal requirement for them to be informed.

Get equipped - Don’t get caught out by the hidden killer

If you are working with asbestos you have to make sure that you have the right PPE. Wearing a properly fitted, suitable respirator is critical. Coveralls and boots without laces or disposable boot covers should also be worn.

For your copy of the technical guide and for a free pack containing samples of PPE and information, register your details at 3M UK & Ireland: Occupational Health & Environmental Safety - Filter Support or by calling the 3M Health and Safety Helpline on 0870 60 800 60 (UK).

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