25 Oct 2021
The research into the dangers of asbestos exposure was going on long before it was banned in Ireland’s construction industry in the late 1990s. However, despite all the good work done by asbestos abatement companies, the annual rate of deaths directly related to the material doubled in 2020.
Although a whole raft of asbestos regulations have been introduced to ensure safe asbestos removal and disposal, the death statistics have risen sharply and it’s believed to be due to the next generation of workers entering the professional world without the ability to identify asbestos when they come across it.
We Must Remain Vigilant
According to Darren Atkins, the Health & Safety Authority’s senior inspector, the problem is still very much one that shouldn’t be ignored, saying “There is this misperception here that asbestos has gone away, however, we have the same difficulties as everyone else. It’s still a problem, so we must remain vigilant.”
Mesothelioma is the aggressive form of cancer that can rear its head up to 30 or even 40 years after asbestos exposure. All it takes is to inhale a single asbestos fiber, where it can unknowingly sit in place and cause terminal illness later in life.
The best course of action when coming across what you suspect to be asbestos is to stop and step away. This should be followed closely by a call to the OHSS team who will be able help you determine whether asbestos surveys, air monitoring or any other controlling measure is required. NEVER allow an untrained person to disturb the material.
Top Quality Training Is the Answer
At OHSS, we are occupational hygiene specialists with more than 20 years experience and we carry out regular training on the dangers of asbestos in the workplace. The instruction we provide doesn’t show you how to remove asbestos safely, rather how to recognise its existence and what steps to take when you do.
The figures on asbestos-related fatalities are shocking, but the answer to the problem is most certainly education. So, if you’d like to know more about anything discussed here, simply visit at www.ohss.ie and take a look around.
Alternatively, give our friendly team of experts a call on (01) 6905907 and they’ll be delighted to talk you through your options.