Asbestos……the UK’s biggest cause of work related deaths set to continue
According to the Health and Safety Executive, asbestos is the single greatest cause of work related deaths in the UK.
Invented as a building material in the 1950s and used extensively until the 1980s, its properties as a fireproof material made it widely used in communal and large scale building projects.
However, if the material remains in good condition or is undisturbed there is little or no risk of it causing any damage. But if it is disturbed then the fibres it releases into the air can quickly get into the lungs and cause serious damage. There are some places that asbestos was used in high volumes. These include between floors and partition walls. It was also sprayed on structural beams and girders, frequently used as lagging on pipe work and boilers and large sheets of it were also used to clad ceilings and water tanks as insulation. Asbestos is an unseen killer; all too often you don’t know it’s there until it is too late, if you ever even know you’ve been exposed to it at all.
Strongly associated with asbestos exposure is mesothelioma, an incurable cancer which sadly is almost always fatal with most of those affected dying within a year of diagnosis. Using in-depth research from the Health and Safety Executive’s Mesothelioma Mortality in Great Britain project we take a look at how mesothelioma has had a devastating effect on the lives of many all over the country and how predictions are set to look within the next ten years.
Ensure your employees, students or staff are protected against the risks of Asbestos related illnesses by arranging an asbestos survey on site.