The British Lung Foundation launched its “Take 5 and Stay Alive” campaign last week, which is designed to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos amongst tradespeople.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), every week on average 20 tradespeople die in the UK from exposure to asbestos, making it the single greatest cause of work related deaths.
Although it is now illegal to use asbestos, the ban was only imposed in 2000 – meaning that any building built or renovated before then could contain asbestos.
It has become apparent to EMS when speaking to tradesmen on sites that the materials in which asbestos is contained is still a mystery to most and that proper training is still not being carried out. The HSE research backs up this statement up, admitting that there is a worrying lack of information and training amongst small employers and sole traders, with workers not really worrying about the big dangers when working around asbestos. Even more alarming is the realisation that some tradesmen are aware of asbestos, but worry that alerting someone or refusing to complete works may lead to losing the job and money.
The British Lung Foundation launched this campaign last week in a bid to raise awareness of the dangers of working with asbestos containing materials and to raise awareness of the death rates surrounding it. When asbestos is disturbed and inhaled, the fibres can cause a range of illnesses, including the terminal chest cancer Mesothelioma. The tiny invisible particles stick to clothes, meaning that as well as risking their own lives, workers can be unknowingly putting their colleagues, family and friends at risk.
The campaign “Take 5 and Stay Alive” aims to ensure that tradesmen have the knowledge to act safely and responsibly, ensuring they can identify asbestos and determine what type it is, and assess whether they have the training and equipment to deal with it safely.
The British Lung Foundation Chief Executive Dr Penny Woods said
“Our Take 5 and Stay Alive campaign aims to give tradesmen the tools to act responsibly. We want to ensure they can identify asbestos wherever and in whatever from it might be present, and know how to deal with it safely. Our message is simple – taking just 5 minutes to assess the situation could save your life, and keep your family and friends, clients and business safe from exposure to potentially fatal asbestos dust”
To find out more about the campaign please visit – www.take5andstayalive.com
Environmental Management Solutions praise the British Lung Foundation for launching this campaign and assure that they are here to offer advice and consultancy to any businesses who are unsure about asbestos management or if they are in fact at risk. For more information please contact Samantha Baker on – firstname.lastname@example.org