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Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2023

Insight Workplace Health are proud to support Global Asbestos Awareness Week, 1-7 April 2023


Asbestos remains the UK’s biggest cause of work-related deaths. This year marks the 18th Annual Global Asbestos Awareness Week from the 1 – 7th April, the campaign seeks to increase the knowledge and understanding of employers and employees about the dangers posed by asbestos.


Asbestos was widely used in the past because of its heat and chemical resistance it was extensively used in a wide variety of industries including construction and heavy industry but was banned from use in the UK in 1999 due to the harmful impact of exposure to health including:


  • Mesothelioma

  • Asbestos related lung cancer

  • Asbestosis

  • Pleural thickening


All employers have a legal duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) to establish whether there is a risk to employees from asbestos and employers must ensure that they comply with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, failure to do so may result in fines or imprisonment.


If your staff include any of the following roles, then they have the potential to be exposed to asbestos within the workplace:


  • General maintenance workers

  • Electricians

  • Plumbers

  • Joiners

  • Painters and decorators

  • Plasterers

  • Construction workers

  • Roofers

  • Shop fitters

  • Gas fitters

  • Heating and ventilation engineers

  • Demolition workers

  • Telecommunication engineers

  • Fire/intruder alarm installers

  • Computer and data installers

  • Architects

  • Building surveyors


You should ensure, depending upon your risk assessment and method statement (RAMS), that staff have been provided with appropriate information, training and instruction to manage the workplace risks associated with asbestos. All workers undertaking work on, or removal of asbestos should undergo a medical consultation with a medical practitioner (doctor), with those staff undertaking higher risk asbestos removal work (licensed work) undergoing a medical assessment with a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Appointed Doctor and have the necessary legal forms filed with the HSE as required and repeated periodically as necessary.


Essential information about the management of asbestos risks in the workplace can be found on the HSE website - Asbestos information, instruction and training (hse.gov.uk)

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