Quite rightly the thought of working or coming into contact with asbestos fills many workmen and the general public with dread. The link between asbestos exposure and deadly diseases such as mesothelioma are now common amongst workmen and the general public. Part of the reason that public awareness has increased is due to the continual number of asbestos disease compensation claims made by the victims of exposure to asbestos.
As a result of the historic legacy of our use of this most harmful material, it has been estimated that up to 50% of private domestic properties contain some amount of asbestos. This does not even begin to take into account the asbestos which is located within public buildings and structures. The dangers of not safely removing asbestos will not become immediately apparent. For example, mesothelioma can often take between 10 and 50 years to develop from the date of exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma is a terrible disease and can be caused following the smallest amount of exposure to asbestos.
In view of the dangers of asbestos, and the regular asbestos compensation claims for diseases such as pleural thickening, asbestosis, asbestos related lung cancer and mesothelioma, it is extremely pertinent to remove asbestos from these buildings in a safe and controlled manner where necessary. Throughout the country there are only around 450 licensed asbestos removal firms. Due to the classification of asbestos as a category 1 carcinogen there is stricter regulatory control which is enforced, in addition to the already stringent health and safety laws.
However, if you come across asbestos, the Health and Safety Executive have tried to assist workmen with helpful steps on how to navigate this lethal carcinogen:
- Upon sight or understanding that you are coming into contact with asbestos to stop working and speak to either your employer or the owner of the building. You will need to enquire if they are aware of the asbestos and consider whether a licensed contractor should continue.
- Licensed contractors are reminded that all protective equipment should be suitable and worn properly. Further, all staff should be properly trained in dealing with asbestos removal and disposal.
- The disposal of the asbestos waste should be double-bagged and disposed of at an asbestos licensed tip as soon as possible.
The Government also provides tips on what not to do and these include:
- Using power tools or other means that can cause lots of asbestos dust. If there has been dust created then wet clothes or a Type H vacuum should be used to remove it.
- Overalls which contain asbestos dust should not be taken home. Further, disposable clothing that is worn should not be reused and instead discarded safely.
- No eating or drinking should be carried out within the area that asbestos is being removed. Unfortunately, workmen are still being exposed and diagnosed with asbestos related diseases every year. If these measures of safe removal are not carried out properly then instances of asbestos disease will continue to affect workers and members of the public for many years to come.
If you require assistance in pursuing an asbestos claim please contact us today on our freephone number 0800 038 6767. Alternatively, head over to the ‘Contact Us’ page, complete the form and we will be in touch.