What Asbestos Taught Us About Managing Risk
By: Asbestos Audit
Asbestos was unknowingly dangerous to public health. Fibres that are too large to be broken down by the body are breathed in and lodged in our lungs, causing many adverse health effects. Inhaling asbestos is directly linked to multiple diseases, including: mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis.
These diseases can have high fatality rates. Furthermore, these asbestos-related illnesses have a delayed latency period.
Here, we'll explore the biggest asbestos failings and what we've learnt from them.
Failure to plan, manage, and monitor
Several construction companies have been heavily fined due to failing to recognise the risk of asbestos on school sites, putting subcontractors, staff, young children, and their families at risk. It is not only the direct inhalers of the fibre that are exposed to harm—secondary asbestos exposure occurs when those working with the material bring it home, for example, on their clothes, and affect their families.
The construction companies at hand failed to:
The importance of a duty holder
At the end of 2019, the Ministry of Defence admitted extensive failings (https://www.theguardian.com/
The duty to manage asbestos is enshrined in law—the Control of Asbestos Regulation 2012 places a legal responsibility on a person assigned as the duty holder so that suitable asbestos management action is planned and taken so that buildings are safe. Duty holders who fail their responsibilities can be faced with legal action.
If you're a duty holder and are unsure of the risk in your building, find out more about asbestos survey types (https://www.asbestosaudit.co/
Make sure you take the appropriate safety measures—the effects of asbestos cannot be undone, but it can easily be prevented.