Safety bulletin outlining the hazards associated with asbestos 


 Safety Alert



Ref No







Distribution:       notice boards together with discussion at safety meetings



Asbestos related diseases kill more people than any other single work related cause. All types of asbestos can be dangerous if disturbed. The danger arises when asbestos fibres become airborne. They form a very fine dust which is often invisible. Breathing asbestos dust can cause damage to the lungs which in the longer term, can be fatal.


Undisturbed asbestos is usually harmless. However, those that damage, drill, cut and handle materials that contain asbestos are at risk.


Asbestos was widely used in materials where resistance to heat was important and to give strength to cement products such as insulation boards, corrugated roof sheets and cement guttering.


Whilst asbestos is no longer used, it is sensible to assume that any building constructed before the 1980s will contain asbestos-based materials. Its presence is unlikely to be obvious. Some of the most common materials containing asbestos are:

•    Boiler and pipework coatings and laggings;
•    Sprayed coatings providing fire or acoustic insulation;
•    Insulation board;
•    Cement-based boards, sheets and formed products;
•    Ceiling and some floor tiles;
•    Gaskets and paper products used for thermal and electrical insulation;
•    Some textured surface coatings


No work should be carried out which is likely to expose you to asbestos unless an adequate assessment of exposure has been made. This means that the building or area of the building where work is to be done should be checked to identify the location, type and condition of any asbestos which could be disturbed during the work.


If asbestos, or what is suspected to be asbestos, is discovered by you:

•    Stop work;
•    Protect it from further damage or cordon off the area.
•    Report what you have found to your manager and the clients representative.


Your Manager will inform the Health and Safety Manager who will in turn liaise with the client to arrange for specialist analysis and remedial works before further work is carried out.



Last modified: Thursday, 4 July 2013, 9:41 AM