FOLLOWING a Health & Safety Executive investigation, Chelmsford magistrates fined an unscrupulous Ipswich roofing contractor £10,000 last month for handling asbestos at a farm in Essex without the correct certification or training.
In dealing with the substance improperly he exposed staff to deadly cancer causing spores. As general manager of the UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) I’d like to remind your readers of the dangers of asbestos and that it’s important that only those with the correct training should handle it.
Asbestos, still the biggest workplace killer in the UK, causes the rare and incurable form of lung cancer known as mesothelioma.
The danger occurs when materials containing asbestos are disturbed or damaged, leading to the deadly spores of the “hidden killer” to be released into the atmosphere where they are inhaled. It’s important that those in the construction trade likely to come into contact with asbestos know how to identify it and deal with it safely.
Dealing with asbestos without the full training and knowledge can lead to putting both your own health and the health of those around you in jeopardy – that’s the reason why the Health & Safety Executive continue to dish out fines.
Those in the construction industry should consult our list of approved members in order to gain the correct certification at www.ukata.org.uk
– Craig Evans.