Protecting Workers From the Dangers of Asbestos

1 Mar 2023

Protecting Workers From the Dangers of Asbestos

At OHSS, we offer consultancy services relating to asbestos abatement, as well as a wide range of occupational hygiene matters. As recently as 1999, asbestos was still being used in construction but became banned due to the fact that inhaling the invisible fibres it contains is proven to lead to conditions like asbestosis and mesothelioma. 

Since then, as per the European Communities Dangerous Substances & Preparations Marketing & Use Regulations 2003, it's now illegal for any product on the market to contain asbestos. As such, should you be removing a roof that contains the substance, proper asbestos removal and disposal should occur, rather than the tiles being reused. 

Safeguarding Workers From Asbestos 

A number of asbestos regulations have been introduced to protect employees from the risks of asbestos exposure in the workplace. The guidelines they contain apply to all places of work in which asbestos or asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) might be present. As such, the Health & Safety Authority is the body that enforces the rules, making sure everyone on site gets the right level of protection to prevent risk to health. 

If you're an employer who's responsible for workers in any environment that may contain ACMs, you must take the necessary steps that include:

  • Identification of ACMs prior to work starting 

  • A desire to disturb the asbestos as little as possible

  • A written risk assessment & method statement (or plan)

  • Inform workers of the result of asbestos surveys carried out

The use of specialist contractors for asbestos removal is essential if no one in your team is suitably qualified to do so. Moreover, it's important that these contractors use suitable controls and wear the appropriate protective gear. Also when asbestos is disposed of, the relevant regulations must be adhered to. 

In the event of the regulations not being followed, the HSA may prosecute, leading to a conviction and possible fine. The court can also impose an order to compel you to take corrective action by a specific date. Failure to comply represents an offence. 

OHSS - Here to Help Your Workers Stay Safe

The OHSS team has been helping to keep Irish workers safe from the dangers of asbestos since 2001, something that places us very well to give you the important advice you need. To find out more about our full range of asbestos-related and occupational hygiene services, visit us today at

Alternatively, to speak to one of our friendly experts, give us a call on 01 6905907, where our team is waiting to give you the assistance you need in keeping your employees safe from all the hazards present in the workplace.