Asbestos Risk Assessment & Management - RSC

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Asbestos Management and Safety

What is Asbestos?

Image of asbestos fibers up close, dangerous when inhaledAsbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material that has been a popular building material throughout the 20th Century. It is used as an insulator (to keep heat in and keep cold out), has good fire protection properties and protects against corrosion.

When asbestos containing materials are damaged the asbestos fibres may be released into the air and subsequently inhaled.

Inhalation of asbestos fibres can cause diseases such as mesothelioma (a cancer which affects the lining of the lungs), asbestos related lung cancer, asbestosis (a scarring of the lungs) and Pleural thickening (which constrict the lungs).

Because asbestos is often mixed with another material, it's hard to know whether a building material contains asbestos or not. If you work in a building built before the year 2000, it's likely that some parts will contain asbestos.

Asbestos is found in many products including the following:
  • Sprayed Coatings
  • Pipe Insulation
  • Suspended Ceiling Tiles
  • Gaskets, Ropes and Cloths
  • Floor Tiles
  • Flat or Corrugated Cement Sheets
  • Rainwater Gutters and Downpipes
  • Textured Decorative Coatings (such as Artex)
  • Asbestos Insulation Boards (also referred to as AIB)

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Why Manage Asbestos?

Asbestos must be properly managed to prevent people dying from asbestos related disease in the future. Workers who carry out building maintenance and repairs are particularly at risk. Each year 1000 people who worked in such trades die from past exposure to asbestos fibres and these workers are still at risk. It is estimated that half a million commercial buildings within the UK still contain asbestos.

Remember, as long as asbestos is not damaged or located in an area where it can be easily damaged it won’t be a risk to you.

  • Asbestos is only a danger when fibres are made airborne and breathed in
  • The effects of being exposed to asbestos take many years to show up
  • Smoking increases the risk of asbestos related disease many times
  • You can’t see or smell asbestos fibres in the air

Asbestos Risk Assesments and Further Information

If you would like any additional information in relation to asbestos, to arrange an asbestos risk assement or would like to speak with a health and safety consultant regarding an asbestos issue please to request a callback and we will responsd as soon as possible. 

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