Did you know that if you are a professional tradesman, such as a builder, plumber or electrician, you are continually at risk of being exposed to the dangers of asbestos?

You may have already come into contact with asbestos products whilst working on domestic or commercial sites in the past, yet been unaware of the hidden dangers. Asbestos is known as “The Hidden Killer”, as its lethal effects can lie dormant for years before conditions are diagnosed.

As a tradesman it is your right to be protected from asbestos exposure when working on any building or repair project, so before you start any work, make sure that you have followed a few basic steps to avoid any risks to your health when working on site.

Find out how old the property is

The use of asbestos was banned in the 1990’s, so any property that was built before this period could potentially harbour hidden asbestos. To be on the safe side, any property built before the year 2000 should be surveyed for asbestos materials.

Ask your manager or the property owner if any asbestos is present on site

Make sure you check with the project manager or property owner to find out the location of any asbestos within the building. This information should be shared with all tradesmen who are working on the site. If no information is available, then a full asbestos survey should be carried out before work begins.

Request an asbestos survey be carried out

An asbestos survey should only be carried out by trained professionals, due to the hazardous nature of the asbestos fibres when released in the air. A fully qualified specialist in asbestos will be able to provide a detailed inspection report that details the type of asbestos and its location, if found within the property. Only start working on the property after this survey has taken place.

If in doubt, do not start work

If no asbestos survey has been carried out, you should not begin work. Do not disturb any building materials until you are fully aware of their composition. Any asbestos products must be removed by a qualified specialist.

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