Could Asbestos training save your life – and your client’s?
Let’s start this blog with a question. What would you do faced with this situation? You need to fix a pipe or service the boiler – but you have no idea where the debris surrounding the boiler has come from, or more importantly, what it is comprised of. Do you know that continuing regardless could uncover a hidden danger – spreading contamination to other areas and putting lives at risk?
Without formal training, no one can be expected to accurately identify Asbestos. Fortunately, our surveyors are dual-trained to identify the presence of both Legionella and Asbestos – but are you Asbestos aware?
It isn’t always ‘just dust’
The picture shown above was sent by a client prior to a Legionella risk assessment. If you had opened the door to be met with debris covering the floor, pipes, cylinder and lid itself, would you know that it was Asbestos? More importantly, would you continue without investigating further, putting yourself and your client in serious danger?
It’s crucial for all trades to be aware that white powder isn’t always just dust. Whilst many are under the illusion that exposure once in a while does no harm, continuous contact (especially on those occasions when you are unaware of the presence of Asbestos) can be devastating. One case in point involved a young lady who died after brushing ‘white dust’ off music stands – Click here to read this article – completely unaware of the danger she faced. When you consider that two million deadly Asbestos fibres can fit onto the top of a pushpin, it’s clear to see the massive risk the fairly small amount of debris found in this cupboard represents.
If in doubt, test it out
When it comes to Asbestos it’s much better to be safe, than sorry. The vicious and deadly cancer it causes kills over 5,500 people in the UK alone each year. Usually these are much-loved mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers – who were completely unaware of the risk they faced at the time of exposure. Once a diagnosis of Mesothelioma is made, it’s sadly too late to treat.
Consider the young children’s toys you passed in the lounge – the inhaler on the dining room table – the family portrait on the wall. Think of your own family – and the devastating consequences of leaving loved ones behind too soon. Asbestos presents a danger that simply cannot be underestimated – so it’s vitally important that you take steps to educate yourself and learn how to prevent the spread of this vicious hidden serial killer.
Stop, report and leave
If you opened the cupboard to an axe-wielding maniac or a wired bomb with a detonation device ticking away beside it, you’d take action right away. You’d stop, report it, and leave the area. Asbestos kills more plumbers than serial killers and bombs combined – so safety training really is essential. Keeping yourself (and those around you) safe is as easy as three key steps:
Stop: Stop what you are doing – and do not under any circumstance disturb or touch the dust or surrounding materials and objects. Do not continue with work or recover tools, clothing or other possessions that may have come into contact with it.
Report: Inform your manager immediately to report the risk.
Leave: Don’t take the serial killer with you. Leave the fibres alone, and wait for the professionals (such as All Survey Ltd.) to come and clean and contain it safely.
Recognise and report danger with confidence
At All Survey we offer training for plumbers and other trades who are likely to come into contact with Asbestos throughout the course of their daily activity. It’s surprising when you consider just how many common household items you’ll come into contact with regularly can pose a potential risk to you and to those around you. Asbestos can be found in over 400 different building products. These include toilet seats and cisterns, boarding (including bath panels), boilers, pipe insulation and bitumen sink pads. Can you afford to put your life (and those around you) at risk?