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Working with Asbestos

October 23rd, 2013

It goes without saying that if you’re part of the construction sector, you’re probably aware of the dangers of Asbestos. It is an insulating material that was used prolifically in a variety of buildings during the 1950s, and is now largely unused as a result of the severe health problems it can cause.

More and more workers are seeking legal advice so that they can gain some amount of compensation for their illnesses. The majority of claims come from workers who have inhaled fibres whilst working in factories and other buildings. The symptoms of asbestos exposure can take anywhere between ten and 50 years to surface, meaning a lot of cases go undetected. There is also a danger when these old buildings are demolished and the asbestos dust is allowed to escape.

If you’re already suffering from an asbestos related disease, it is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible. Sintons is a law firm that handles a number of personal injury claims in Newcastle upon Tyne. They’ll provide expert advice and endeavour to get you the compensation you deserve.

There are many factories that contain asbestos too. All workers should be provided with proper protection from their employer if they work in one of these buildings. Before you start work, it’s essential you do the following:

Locate the asbestos

The owner of a non-domestic premises has a duty to manage the asbestos that may be in the building. Make sure that you get accurate information on the location, type, and current condition of the asbestos. If you are supplied with vague or outdated information, you can have the building surveyed to determine the risks.

The risk assessment you construct should identify if you can work around the substance. If that’s not possible, it should detail who may be at risk and the precautions you have to take to control any potential danger.

Hire a licensed contractor

If you intend to remove the asbestos from the premise, you will need a licensed contractor from the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) to carry out the work.  Most work on sprayed asbestos coatings, insulation and asbestos lagging will require a licence. Once you have identified the type of asbestos in the premises, you can look for a licenced contractor here.

Put the necessary safety precautions in place

If the work does not require a licenced contractor, you are free to carry out the work once the necessary safety controls are in place. You may be required to carry out notifiable non-licenced work once you begin dealing with the asbestos. This can involve keeping records of ongoing work and medical surveillance.

It is essential that all the workers who are likely to disturb the asbestos are properly trained and provided with the necessary equipment to protect themselves. For more information on asbestos training courses, visit arca.org.uk.

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