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Asbestos

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When asbestos was first discovered in the fifties the industrial world became very excited indeed. This miracle substance was sound resistant, flame retardant, and heat resistant and could easily be molded into a variety of shapes. It didn’t take long for it to be used in oven gloves, ironing boards and insulation in walls for buildings as it retained heat beautifully and more affordable than materials used before.

The Miracle Material

It seemed as though its uses were limitless and ironically it was heralded as a life saver as it was cost effective in minimizing the risk of fire.
However in the late seventies reports began trickling in of workers who had been exposed to the substance a few decades before when mining of the natural substance began. At first these seemed coincidental and no one connected the dots however as more and more cases of fatal diseases were reported it became evident that asbestos was the one link between them all.
Mined in Australia, South Africa and Canada it was already been used in a variety of products from pipe insulation to toilet cisterns and today it is present in the majority of buildings.

The Mortality Material

Amazingly it took twenty years after the first reports for it to be banned completely and now any building constructed after 1999 will not contain this harmful substance although others preceding this date no doubt will.

Known as class one carcinogen asbestos is only fatal when it is released into the air. The microscopic fibers enter the airways creating diseases such as lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis. It takes anything from fifteen to sixty years for symptoms of these diseases to manifest and today the deaths of over 3500 people in the UK a year are mainly due to those working with the material in the sixties.

This figure is expected to treble within ten years as the disease becomes evident in those exposed during the seventies and eighties. Although we can’t change the past we can now ensure that this figure drops considerably from now on by managing asbestos effectively and making sure workmen and the public are never exposed to the fibers.

It is now the law to ensure that asbestos is managed and severe fines are in place for those who put themselves and others at risk of exposure. There are strict guidelines to follow and different ways of handling asbestos from disposing of it to managing and monitoring its presence.

It is only when asbestos is disturbed that it infiltrates lungs and so it some cases it is wise to leave well alone, however if a surveyor thinks maintenance, building or refurbishment work may release the material in the future they will recommend the removal.

Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos at work Regulations came into effect on May 21st 2004 where the duty holder must inspect any premises to determine the presence of asbestos even if they suspect it is not present. Failure to hire a surveyor to carry out the work can result in prosecution. Some people are unaware that the responsibility lies with them as it is not always the owner of the premises that is responsible, tenants and managers can also hold the Duty Holder title.

We survey all types of commercial premises to ensure you stay within the law and don’t leave yourself open to prosecution. See the legislation on asbestos here, as the regulations are very strict on who can identify and manage asbestos.

As we are a surveying company only we always provide a true account with no ulterior motive. WE are independent and will always endeavor to give you the most cost effective solution that doesn’t compromise the safety of you or others that come in contact with the building.

We follow every HSE law and give you the tools you need to ensure you are never prosecuted now or in the indefinite future.

Breathe easier, remove the worry and ensure the safety of yourself and your staff by calling us now.

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