Security & fire alarm installers at risk from asbestos

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A recent article by IFSEC Global reported that those installing services such as security and fire alarm systems are particularly at risk from asbestos.

More than 4000 people a year die prematurely as a result of exposure to asbestos, and IFSEC say that installers are more at risk due to the potential for them to disturb the substance whilst drilling into ceilings, chasing cables, working in roof voids etc.

It is therefore important that all installers receive asbestos awareness training to make them aware of the potential dangers, be able to identify the substance should they come across it, and know the procedures for dealing with it safely.

Any person who is an owner or employer of any property has a duty to manage the risk of asbestos within their premises, however as an installer it is important to safeguard yourself and your colleagues. To do this you should:

  • Ask your customer / client for the asbestos register before starting work to see any locations where there is asbestos.
  • Establish the extent of the asbestos survey. A management survey won’t look beneath the surface so may not be adequate. If this is the case you will need a ‘demolition / refurbishment’ survey. To find out more about asbestos surveys click here.

Ensure you and your installation teams have received asbestos awareness training.

The HSE provides essential task sheets which provide information on how to safely carry out non-licensed work involving asbestos:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/essentials/

If you require asbestos awareness training please contact us to find out about our courses.

Published: 5th November 2013