Familiarisation with Health & Safety topics in the Construction and Property Industry are a priority and the first week of April marks Global Asbestos Awareness Week.  Something we should all be mindful of as construction and property professionals.

Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2024, aims to raise awareness of the risks of asbestos exposure and the need for prevention measures.

During Global Asbestos Awareness Week, organisations, support groups, medical professionals, and individuals unite to inform others about the risks associated with asbestos exposure, share information about asbestos-related diseases, and promote measures to prevent exposure.

Asbestos remains a hidden danger and has been the main cause of occupational health problems since 1950. The HSE reminds us that:

•  “Asbestos still kills around 5000 workers each year, this is more than the number of people killed on the road.”
•  Around 20 tradesmen die each week as a result of past exposure.”
•  “Asbestos is not just a problem of the past. It can be present today in any building built or refurbished before the year 2000.”

Current statistics, as provided by Mesothelioma UK, are that each year as many as 2,700 people in the UK are diagnosed with mesothelioma, a form of cancer where 9/10 cases are caused by exposure to asbestos. Ultimately meaning that the majority of these cases could have been avoided through better asbestos management. A shocking statistic is that unfortunately up to 60% of people die in the first year after diagnosis!

The HSE provide an extensive amount of guidance and factual information regarding asbestos on their website, Asbestos – HSE, including the risks, duty holders and the law, common identification information, various control measures suggestions and much more.

By supporting Global Asbestos Awareness Week more lives can potentially be saved.