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BUILDING WORKERS UNAWARE OF ASBESTOS RISK

New generation building workers unaware of risk from asbestos

Around 1,000 joiners, electricians and plumbers etc. are dying each year from asbestos-related diseases in Britain.

Research shows that such building tradesmen think that asbestos is a historical problem and they are not at risk. The HSE Asbestos: The Hidden Killer campaign aims to educate the current workforce about the real and current danger asbestos presents.

The campaign runs throughout November 2009 and will see more than 500,000 information packs sent out, as well as targeted press and radio adverts.

Plumbers, joiners, electricians, painters and decorators and many other maintenance are potentially at risk working in any building constructed or refurbished before the year 2000. It is estimated that around 500,000 workplace premises could contain asbestos.

Steve Coldrick, HSE’s Asbestos Programme Director, said: “Sadly there is nothing we can do to stem the tragic loss of workers who were exposed to asbestos in years gone by. But we can listen to their stories – and the one thing we hear time and again from older workers is that they were never told about the risks of working with asbestos. We cannot allow this hidden killer to claim another generation of tradesmen.

If tradesmen are not sure whether there is asbestos present where they are working e.g. through a survey, they should stop and check.”

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