Construction Health and Safety Consultancy and CDM Adviser Services

Getting Practical Asbestos Advice Just Got Easier!
Posted by David Cant on September 7, 2015

Getting Practical Asbestos Advice Just Got Easier!

asbestos warning tapeYep. There’s now an app for that.

Even though asbestos is no longer in use – and hasn’t been for years – it’s still a real, tangible threat.

It’s still found in millions of homes and buildings across the UK.  In fact, it can be in any structure that was built before the year 2000.

And over 20 people die from asbestos-related issues every week.

So it’s really great to see that the HSE have put together a handy app that gives you a quick run through about the dangers and risks related to asbestos, as well as some useful ‘how to’ guides to ease you through the different steps you might need to take!

Check out the full app here, called “Beware Asbestos”. You can have a peek on your computer – but you can also download it directly to your phone or tablet.  Now you’ve got no excuse not to be clued up on asbestos!

So what kind of things should you be looking out for?

Look out for risks on site

Working on a building that might have been built before 2000? Then depending on where you are working and what you’re doing, you might need to stay alert to potential asbestos-related risks.

That’s why it’s vital to do a full risk assessment before taking on a job. And now this helpful app is there to help you spot more of the dangers too!

Get your kit on

If you’re likely to come into contact with any asbestos debris at all – such as from asbestos cement, through drilling, cleaning up areas, working on roofing or even just painting over an asbestos cement area – you should always make sure that you have the right kit to keep you safe.

Like – for instance – wearing disposable overalls, and disposable foot coverings too. Don’t make the mistake of trying to clean off your protective clothing – asbestos can be present in fine debris, which could easily be inhaled and cause serious health damage.

Even when you can’t see it.

You might also need to use a face mask too, if you’re likely to inhale dust or debris. Make sure that it’s disposable and correctly fitted.

Know the signs

While it’s really important to make sure that you stay completely safe while on a potentially risky site, what about the times in the past that you might not have paid such close attention?

The impact from asbestos exposure isn’t always apparent straight away – sometimes the symptoms can take a long time to develop.

The most common diseases are mesothelioma – a cancer that affects the lining of the lungs; asbestosis – which causes shortness of breath and scarring of lungs after years of repeated exposure, and asbestos-related lung cancer.

So if you’re having any kind of respiratory problems and think you may have been exposed to asbestos in the past – it’s really important that you get checked out ASAP.

Your takeaway points

  • The HSE’s new free Beware Asbestos is available for mobile and computer devices, and gives lots of useful points to identify risks, and stay safe
  • Even so, make sure you do a full risk assessment when working on a site built before 2000 as asbestos might be a risk
  • Check that you have all the correct and complete protective clothing to keep you safe while on site – and always make sure that it’s disposable.
  • Look out for the potential symptoms of any asbestos related illnesses – especially respiratory problems

Got any questions or concerns about anything to do with asbestos? Give us a shout!


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

This post has been filed in: Asbestos Surveys

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