If you think about the substance asbestos, you probably see it as an old construction material that’s highly dangerous and therefore monitored and always controlled. You’re most certainly not thinking of it as something that’s currently a present threat. Asbestos can still be found in everyday products, and recent lawsuits reflect this (See Johnson & Johnson blog). It seems that even with the knowledge of asbestos being one of, if not the most dangerous substance in construction, businesses are still willing to skirt safety laws and instead put workers lives at risk.

A legal case involving cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson has proved a victory for asbestos campaigners, but it also reflects the barriers that remain in the fight to eradicate asbestos. You can see our Johnson and Johnson blog by clicking here.

What is Asbestos and where can I spot it?

It’s not all bad! Asbestos got banned in 2000, meaning that any building built after the year 2000 were no longer allowed to use asbestos due to the dangers. However, this also means that buildings built before the year 2000 were likely still contaminated with asbestos.

Asbestos was once considered as a miracle material for over 100 years. Due to it’s ability to resist heat, electricity, and fire, it ended up in all sorts of things, from cigarette filters to wall insulation to even toilet seats, there was no getting away from it. But the crazy thing is, is that even though we’ve known about its health risks since the 1920s, we went ahead and used it anyway – especially after World War 2 during the construction ‘boom’ and guess what? A lot of those structures are still around today.

Sure, asbestos is only considered dangerous if disturbed, but once those tiny, sharp-edged asbestos particles get into your lungs, they stay there, causing permanent damage and mutations that lead to nasty conditions like asbestosis and mesothelioma – both of which have no cure. Now, no more negativity I promise, we just wanted to share the implications of asbestos when ignored. Now introducing some positivity, you and your employer can actively prevent the chances of exposure.

Get your staff on a UKATA Asbestos course

By giving your staff the appropriate training, you are granting them the opportunity to understand the consequences of asbestos exposure and take the right steps to maintaining a safe environment for themselves and the people around them. A UKATA asbestos course is a cheap and effective way in teaching workers what do if they encounter asbestos.

SAMS takes pride in offering UKATA Asbestos Awareness training and remains committed to educating workers nationwide on protecting themselves from this lethal threat. The aspiration is that continuous education, coupled with concerted efforts across industries and authorities, will relegate asbestos to a bygone issue.