Asbestos The Hidden Killer

The Health & Safety Executive advises that diseases caused by exposure to asbestos dust and fibres cause about 4000 deaths a year in Great Britain.

Materials containing asbestos were widely used in the building industry until the 1980s because asbestos was a cheap material and it was resistant to damage from electricity, chemicals and fire.A� It was therefore used in insulation, cement and boards.

The Control of Asbestos Regulations were made law to protect workers from developing diseases caused by asbestos in the workplace, and place a legal duty on the company in control of non-domestic premises to manage any asbestos in the non-domestic premises, such as commercial storage buildings and factories.A�Therefore, the company must arrange for a suitable and sufficient assessment of the non-domestic premises to find out whether asbestos is or is liable to be present.A�The condition of any asbestos then has to be considered and measures taken to manage the risk from the asbestos.A� It is believed that the health risk from asbestos is when asbestos dust and fibres contaminate the air and people inhale the dust and fibres.A�If the asbestos in the building is in a damaged condition then this creates the risk of the asbestos dust becoming airborne and contaminating the air.A�In this situation the asbestos should be repaired or sealed or removed from the non-domestic premises to deal with the health hazard.

The Health & Safety Executive has the authority to investigate companies in control of non-domestic premises and commence enforcement and prosecution proceedings in the magistratesa�� courts if they are in breach of the Control of Asbestos Regulations.

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012