Whilst undisturbed, asbestos containing materials (ACMs) within the workplace that are in good condition do not pose a significant threat. The problems arise when it becomes damaged or disturbed which then allows for extremely hazardous microscopic fibres to become airborne into the breathable air. This then creates the potential for high levels of various respiratory diseases upon those unfortunate enough to inhale them.
Many more than you think
Although banned from use in 1999, there are millions of buildings pre-dating that and they will probably have various types of asbestos ‘hiding’ within their construction. If you work within a building that was built before 1999 that has asbestos present, you are not in any immediate danger just by being there if the ACMs remain undisturbed.
Asbestos fibres are extremely likely to be present in any old commercial building that you enter – it is just that they cannot be seen by the naked eye. Commonly, any renovation work or demolition on an area of a building will disturb and damage asbestos unless it is handled properly by certified/licenced professionals in asbestos services and asbestos removal.
Even less intrusive work such as HVAC cleaning, floor buffing and maintenance activities could result in the release of microscopic fibres into the breathable air. The best way to ensure your safety and the safety of others from ACMs is to ensure the necessary steps are taken to minimise exposure risks.
Steps required to minimise asbestos risk
As a building owner or facility manager, there are steps to take to keep yourself, your workers and any other occupants safe from the dangers of asbestos when working within an older commercial structure. As the liable body to provide reasonable protection from asbestos exposure, it falls on you to know the laws, have the property tested and provide all protection measures and plans for how the asbestos is managed safely.
The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 dictates all rules and laws around the management of asbestos within buildings. It is a responsibility to know where and how you stand on the containment of this hazardous and life-threatening material.
The first step will be an asbestos survey to identify all the different types of asbestos present and their condition. Different types of ACMs contain different levels of risk – such as non-friable ACM floor tiles posing a lesser risk than friable spray-on insulations. If you have friable ACMs, air testing may be prudent and a program will require preparation to outline the next steps required.
Under no conditions should asbestos be handled by anyone other than a professional in asbestos testing and asbestos removal Manchester. Doing so will not only pose a significant risk to everyone’s health but can also lead to heavy fines and even a prison sentence for negligible action on behalf of yourself.
Contact the team at Grosvenor Asbestos Solutions today for asbestos removal south manchester and to get advice and cost-effective quotes for the management of asbestos containing materials.