Should I be worried about asbestos?

The place that I work are just about to start a big refurbishment and I over heard some of the staff earlier saying that there was asbestos in one of the panels that they would obviously need to get rid of. Am I okay to be at work whilst this is going on knowing what medicines Im on and having arthritis? I dont really know much about asbestos but Ive seenadverts on tv explaining that people can get compensation for being near it so I presume it must be harmful in some way? Any advice or explainations would be a great help!!

8 Replies

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  • Regardless of health issues there is a risk to all with all types of Asbestos. Without going into too much detail any organisation or private individual is legally obliged to have any source of suspected asbestos removed professionally. Although it is argued that only long term exposure (i.e. occupational exposure) it was ruled that precautions must be taken if it is suspected. It is safe as long as it is not damaged, therefore exposing the raw fibers. The place that you work will no doubt have it in hand and will be organising for a professional body to come and remove it, if indeed it is decided to have it removed. You will actaully find that most houses pre 70's have asbestos guttering, down pipes etc and they are deemeed safe unless damaged. Hope this helps. x

  • One of my neighbours recently moved out and it was discovered some of their Artexing had a type of Asbestos in it. The council quickly moved in and plastered over it all.

    As Mel has said in years gone by it was used for many things and people breathing the fibres may have developed lung problems because of it.

    Your in no danger or the building would have been evacuated and sealed by H&S.

    Beth x

  • Hi Little Em

    No harm in asking about this to be on the safe side. As others have said, exposure to asbestos would be dangerous for anyone, and you would certainly hope that if you've not been asked to evacuate this should mean that they can guarantee that you will not have exposure to aspestos dust. There will be procedures that have to be followed for this, but as I say, no harm in asking that these procedures are being followed if you're worried.

    Kind regards

    Victoria

    (NRAS helpline)

  • Great thanks for the advice everyone :) Im just a little bit anxious about it all because this panel that has the asbestos in it is right next to the area that I work in so I just wanted to check that Im not prone to anything because of the meds Im on.

    Thank you!x

  • Nothing to do with any meds that are being taken Asbestos is a killer, if inhaled it causes servere lung problems and eventual death. Your employer should have a team of specialists to deal with it.

    Be carefull

    Philip

  • Most employers are aware of the risks and have HSE standard to follow. But not all small employers may have that facility. The. Should however have professional advisors on The removal of the asbestos. It is illegal to remove and dump asbestos. It must be removed under strict conditions.

    I personally would not be happy working in an area whilst asbestos is being removed.

    Speak to your manager, if no joy with response, you are well within your rights to phone the department of environment for you local area and as for advice

    It has the potential to cause lung diseases when exposure to the raw fibres and dust particles.

    Keep us posted little.em

    Carole

  • hse.gov.uk/asbestos/regulat...

    Hi there..... this is an easy to read guide of employers responsibilities to you as an employee.

  • Em, definitely query this with the manager, and - if possible - see if they can move you elsewhere during the removal. As Carole has said, the HSE guidelines are a good place to start, but asbestos removal is usually undertaken by trained workers, who wear special protective clothing and facewear to prevent any risk of inhalation. If you are in the direct vicinity, you'd have to be doing the same to be afforded the same protection! And I doubt they'll be doing that!

    Swot up on your rights and stick to them - good luck!

    Sara x

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