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Learn how to recognise asbestos on site

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Asbestos awareness training is mandatory for all workers liable to encounter the substance as part of their job, but that is not the most important reason to take a course. Being able to identify asbestos and knowing what precautions to take when you do could save your life.

Much more is now known about the harmful effects of exposure to asbestos fibres and, as a result, the substance can no longer be used as a building material. Unfortunately, it is still present in millions of residential, industrial and commercial properties built before 2000 and if you work in the building, maintenance or demolition trade you are likely to be at risk.

There are strict regulations in place about how to safely deal with asbestos once it has been identified, but they are of little help if you don’t recognise it before beginning work and proceed to drill through or tear out the asbestos containing material.

Asbestos can be found in many different forms

A tailored asbestos awareness training course from BLS Asbestos will do much more than just allow you to tick the box that says you’ve completed the training necessary to comply with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. It will also teach you how to recognise asbestos and give you an idea of the types of places that you may come across it while working in homes, offices or factories.

Asbestos was used in many forms, including:

  • Asbestos insulating board (AIB) - used for walls, ceiling tiles, soffit boards, cladding, internal partitions and fire doors 
  • Asbestos cement - used for roofing, wall panels, floors, gutters, pipes, fireplaces and water tanks
  • Lagging - used to insulate pipes and hot water tanks
  • Sprayed asbestos - used to cover ceilings, walls and pipes
  • Textured coatings - used for covering ceilings and walls, often referred to as Artex
  • Loose fill insulation

Some pose a greater risk than others and there are different ways to treat them while working (including calling in a licensed asbestos contractor in some cases), so it is crucial to know exactly what you are dealing with to avoid accidentally disturbing the fibres that can cause mesothelioma. The Health and Safety Executive has put together a useful visual guide that you can check online, but it really helps to have a good knowledge of the subject when you are working on site.

Call BLS Asbestos on 01484 400558 or contact us via the website to book or find out more about our asbestos awareness training courses.

Published: 29th April 2016