A True Health and Safety Horror Story
It’s autumn, the dark nights are drawing in and there’s a chill in the air. With the dark nights come Halloween, where horror stories are told as part of the Autumnal fun; an axe murderer creeping around a cabin in the woods while college students run around like headless chickens, a guy in a creepy mask asking you what your favourite scary movie is and our personal favourite, a clown in a drain – but they’re just stories!
Nothing beats a good ghost story, and everyone loves a tale of a Haunted House, full of hidden secrets, sinister cries in the night, spooky dark corners and phantoms in every room.
As fun as these stories of haunted homes can be, in homes across the country, lurks a very real horror story, which is truly the stuff of nightmares.
The Hidden Killer
Referred to as the silent killer, Asbestos lays in wait to be disturbed by unwitting builders, plumbers, electricians and DIY-ers, releasing dangerous fibres into the air, which are so fine they cannot be seen. These fibres are then breathed in and can go on to indiscriminately claim over 2,500 deaths in the UK, per year.
This is a scary statistic, certainly given as Asbestos was banned from use over 20 years ago but was heavily used in new builds in the 50s, 60s and 70s and remains in situ’ to this day.
If exposed to asbestos dust, you are at a very high risk of developing the various respiratory diseases including certain types of cancer e.g. mesothelioma. The symptoms of these diseases often take years or even decades to develop.
To avoid this malevolent material haunting your home or the buildings you work in, there are a few steps you can take:
Firstly, you should ensure your employees attend an Asbestos Awareness Course to gain the facts and understand which building materials can harbour these deadly fibres.
- Ensure any asbestos-containing materials on site have been identified before construction work starts.
- Get the right survey to clearly identify its location and save yourself (and others) from accidental exposure.
- Instigate a plan to ensure the asbestos is not disturbed and where necessary, safely removed.
- If you do come across any hidden or dusty materials which you suspect may contain asbestos, stop work immediately and get advice.
- Do not remove, disturb or dispose of the suspected material. It will need to be removed under strictly controlled conditions and you may need a licenced contractor.
- Make sure you share this information with your colleagues or friends who may work in high risk jobs, including builders, demolition operatives, plumbers, electricians, plasterers etc.
If you work in construction or any other profession where you may disturb the building fabric you should be trained in asbestos awareness, and this knowledge should be regularly refreshed. Find out more about our Asbestos Awareness courses Here.