HSE’s asbestos awareness campaign

October saw the launch of a new HSE campaign that aims to help tradespeople protect themselves from asbestos.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material which was used extensively as a building material across Great Britain until 1999 when it was banned. It remains in millions of homes and buildings today and can be found in places that you might not expect such as ceiling tiles, boilers, toilet cisterns, guttering and soffits. When materials that contain asbestos are disturbed or damaged, dangerous fibres are released into the air which can prove lethal if inhaled, causing lung disease and cancer.

The Beware Asbestos campaign, which was launched on 9 October and will run until March 2015, aims to encourage safe working practices among those workers most at risk from asbestos, ie tradespeople working on small sites and projects in the construction and maintenance industries. Research has shown that these workers recognise that asbestos is dangerous. However, they often do not realise when a job might expose them to asbestos and do not know what to do to protect themselves from the danger.

To raise awareness of the issue and help encourage safer working practices, HSE has teamed up with TradePoint, the trade-only outlet of B&Q, to distribute free asbestos safety kits directly to tradespeople in GB. The kits include simple information to help tradespeople identify where they could come into contact with asbestos and how they can stay safe. They also include a free pair of Type 5 disposable overalls to support safer working with asbestos.
Article courtesy of hse.gov.uk