Asbestos in the Workplace

Despite being banned from use in the UK in 1999, materials containing asbestos are still present in many commercial and industrial properties. Below we investigate some of the jobs that could put you in contact with asbestos.

Office Workers

If your office space was built before 2000, it is possible that it will contain asbestos materials. Asbestos was commonly used as an insulating material within the walls and in roofing of office blocks, if the building has been kept in good condition it is likely the asbestos will still be there.

All office buildings containing asbestos are legally required to have a management plan in place to minimise the risk of exposure. These plans should outline the location and condition of any asbestos materials within the property.

Warehouse Workers

As with offices, any warehouses built before 2000 may contain traces of asbestos materials. Asbestos in warehousing was commonly used within the UK as components in the cement and roofing.

It is your employers legal obligation to keep you protected from asbestos exposure, but if you have any concerns ensure you raise them as soon as possible. Exposure to asbestos, no matter how minor, can cause reversible damage to your respiratory system if not managed properly.

Contractors

If you are a contractor, chances are you have come into contact with old buildings in your time. Asbestos was a commonly used material within building across the UK before it was banned in its entirety in 1999. Due to this, many properties that are now in need of restoration, both commercial and domestic, have been found to contain asbestos.

Always check with your site manager before entering a new site about the potential of coming into contact with asbestos and ensure you are familiar with the procedure to follow if you do so.