Each year approximately 4,000 people die as a result of exposure to asbestos.
Because asbestos is found in many buildings built or refurbished before 2000, those most at risk are the 1.8 million tradespeople who work on these buildings.
Due to the latency period of asbestos-related diseases, younger people are often at greater risk than older workers. But trades apprentice courses often don’t specifically cover asbestos; so apprentices are entering the workplace without any knowledge of the risks they face.
HSE has developed the ‘Introduction to asbestos’ package to fill this gap.
Crucially this approach provides the opportunity to target people when they are relatively new to the trade and before they fully enter the workforce.They are most at risk due to their inexperience, but also when they are most receptive to health and safety messages. Giving them this information means they are better equipped to challenge poor work practices and also provides them with the means to raise the awareness of colleagues and employers.
The package is an introduction to asbestos and not an asbestos awareness course; but it does provide a foundation of activities to build on for all construction based courses. It has been developed in such a way that you can incorporate your own material, if you wish.
If you would like any further information please contact
Andrew Duncan on 0151 951 3952 or Andrew.Duncan@hse.gsi.gov.uk
This article was published on Oct 26, 2010