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9 Things you must do in an asbestos emergency

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material which is extremely dangerous to people who are not asbestos trained and has severe consequences if handled incorrectly.

Asbestos kills 5,000 workers each year with 20 of them a week being trades people, this is more than the number of people killed on the road.Asbestos can still be present today in any building built before the year 2000.

Number 1

If there is possible release of fibres on site you should stop work immediately!

Number 2

Prevent anyone from entering the area and remove any personnel from the affected area, to an area away from others, preferably outside. Barrier area off with warning signs if possible.

Number 3

All employees in the affected area should be checked for any signs of dust or debris on themselves or clothing.

Number 4

If necessary, and if practicable, remove clothing or remove the top layer of clothing and place in a plastic bag. Put on a pair of disposable overalls if available, alternatively wipe down any contaminated clothing with wet wipes or a damp rag.

Number 5

Notify the Employer or Client

Number 6

Dependant on the results the Employee/Client to arrange for clean-up. If confirmed as Asbestos, record the incident on personnel file.

Number 7

Bulk samples from release/fall and swab samples from clothes to be taken for identification by a competent person.

Number 8

Wait outside property for further advice. Be conscious of your movements i.e. do not sit in a vehicle, stay away from others until advice is sought.

Number 9

Employee/client to contact specialist for advice.
Studies have shown men are five times more likely to be diagnosed with an asbestos related disease than women.Younger people, if routinely exposed to asbestos fibres over time, are at greater risk of developing asbestos-related disease than older workers. This is due to the time it takes for the body to develop symptoms after exposure to asbestos (latency).
The diseases can take 15 to 60 years to develop and most people die within 3 years of being diagnosed, as it is usually at an advanced stage.Experts believe that by 2050, 90,000 people will have died as a result of mesothelioma.
Help us spread the word #AsbestosAwareness

UKATA is the leading authority for asbestos training provision in the United Kingdom. Tasked by the HSE in 2008 to manage the licensed asbestos training providers, UKATA has gone from strength to strength and now has more than 180 member organisations from all corners of the UK.

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Published on Wednesday 29th April 2015