What Is Asbestos?
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material which can be deadly if disturbed.
It was used as a popular building material between the 1950s and the 1990s due to being durable, a good insulator and having good fire protection properties.
However, under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 it is now banned in the UK.
Asbestos was regularly used in buildings from the 1950s to the 1990s. Therefore, any non-domestic building or old equipment, built before 2000 could be at risk from asbestos. Common uses of asbestos in buildings are as follows:
- Pipe insulation
- Sprayed coating as fire protection
- Asbestos insulating board (AIB) ceiling and door panels
- AIB window panels
- Floor tiles
- Asbestos cement roof sheeting
- Textured decorative coating, eg Artex.
As an employer, you have a legal duty under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 to protect your employees and others from exposure to asbestos. Therefore, asbestos must be managed, controlled and removed where necessary. Information and guidance must also be provided to all employees working with asbestos. This is a legal requirement and employers will face prosecution if in breach of the regulations.
We can provide you with expert health and safety consultants who can identify asbestos and take the necessary steps to ensure your business is fully compliant with UK law.
Asbestos can be severely harmful if tiny particles are inhaled. The most common forms of asbestos in the UK are Chrysotile (white), Amosite (brown) and Crocidolite (blue). A number of illnesses are caused by asbestos, including:
- Mesothelioma - a cancer which affects the lining of the lungs and the lower digestive tract
- Asbestos-related lung cancer
- Pleural thickening
- Asbestosis - a serious scarring condition of the lung
As an employer you have a legal duty to ensure the following:
- An asbestos risk assessment has been conducted at your work premises
- Employees have been informed of the state of any asbestos containing materials (ACMs)
- Asbestos testing and asbestos surveys have taken place
- Appropriate training has been issued where necessary
- Asbestos containing materials are removed or contained if they are deteriorating or damaged
- Any work carried out for removal or containment is carried out by a professional.
Our leading health and safety experts have the qualifications and experience of dealing with asbestos containing materials. We can provide your business with realistic ways to manage asbestos whilst ensuring that your business is fully compliant with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006.
For more information and advice on working with asbestos, call our helpful customer care team today. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have, and we can also offer you a free quote on our services. So call us today on 0800 211 8331.