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Identifying Asbestos. Aim The aim of this Training Tool is to provide you with the following information to ensure the safety of your workforce:  What.

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Presentation on theme: "Identifying Asbestos. Aim The aim of this Training Tool is to provide you with the following information to ensure the safety of your workforce:  What."— Presentation transcript:

1 Identifying Asbestos

2 Aim The aim of this Training Tool is to provide you with the following information to ensure the safety of your workforce:  What is asbestos?  Facts  Where is asbestos found?  What does asbestos look like?  How can you identify asbestos?  Hidden killer – diseases  Asbestos training legal requirements  Working with asbestos

3 What is asbestos? Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material that has been a popular building material since the 1950s. It is used as an insulator (to keep in heat and keep out cold), has good fire protection properties and protects against corrosion. Because asbestos is often mixed with another material, it's hard to know if you're working with it or not. But, if you work in a building built before the year 2000, it's likely that some parts of the building will contain asbestos.

4 Facts Each week approximately 20 tradesmen die from this hidden killer. Each week approximately 8 joiners 6 electricians 4 plumbers die from asbestos- related diseases. Each year approximately 4000 people die from asbestos. That’s more than are killed on the roads.

5 Where is Asbestos found? Sprayed coating Found as fire protection on structural supports (e.g. columns and beams). It is a high hazard asbestos product and can generate very high fibre levels if disturbed. Pipe Insulation Asbestos thermal pipe lagging is a high hazard asbestos product. Asbestos Insulating Board (also referred to as AIB) ceiling and door panels AIB is a high hazard asbestos product and can generate high levels of fibres if the board is cut or drilled. AIB window panels Like other AIB, this is a high hazard asbestos product, and if in good condition should be left undisturbed. Floor tiles Vinyl (PVC) or thermoplastic tiles contain asbestos. Asbestos cement roof sheeting Asbestos cement sheeting is often found on industrial building roofs and walls. Textured decorative coating (such as Artex) Textured coatings contain a small amount of asbestos. The asbestos is well bonded and fibres are not easily released. However, it is still an asbestos product, and as such, needs to be worked with safely. Others: Ceiling tiles Boilers Board around windows, radiators, fireplaces, building columns and pillars Soffit boards Inside fire doors Gaskets and sealants on pipe joints Fuse boxes and electrical switch gear

6 Asbestos house & where it can be found 1. Water Tank 2. Pipe Lagging 3. Property Insulation 4. Textured coating (e.g. artex) 5. Soffit Board (roof overhang) 6. Toilet cistern 7. Wall panelling 8. Fuse box 9. Heater cupboard 10. Floor tiles 11. Rainwater items such as roof gutters and down pipes

7 What does asbestos look like? Asbestos Fire Blanket Pieces of AIB AIB ceiling tiles in a corridor Asbestos containing floor tiles Damaged asbestos panelling Asbestos cement downpipe Asbestos cement roof Torn asbestos pipe lagging Wall with trowelled loose asbestos

8 What does asbestos look like? Pipe insulated using asbestos lagging and rope Sprayed 'limpet' asbestos on underside of an asbestos cement roof AIB window panelling AIB window sill Asbestos soffit Asbestos cement drainage downpipe Asbestos cement external building panel Asbestos panelling around gas meter Asbestos textured coating

9 How can you identify asbestos? Because asbestos is often mixed with another material, it's hard to know if you're working with it or not. Asbestos materials in good condition are safe unless asbestos fibres become airborne and then inhaled, which happens when materials are damaged. If you are unsure whether you are working with asbestos materials where you are working… stop and check. People in charge of workplace buildings have a legal duty to provide you with up-to-date information on the location and condition of asbestos before you start work.

10 The “Hidden Killer” Exposure to asbestos can cause four main diseases: Mesothelioma – cancer of the lining of the lungs; it is always fatal and is almost exclusively caused by exposure to asbestos Asbestos-related lung cancer – which is almost always fatal Asbestosis – a scarring of the lungs which is not always fatal but can be a very debilitating disease, greatly affecting quality of life Diffuse pleural thickening – a thickening of the membrane surrounding the lungs which can restrict lung expansion leading to breathlessness. It can take years for any symptoms to develop after exposure, so these diseases will not affect you immediately but may do later in life. You need to start protecting yourself against any exposure to asbestos now because the effect is cumulative.

11 Asbestos training – legal requirement Use and fit a face mask Use safe work methods Deal with asbestos waste Safely carry out non-licenced tasks – such as painting undamaged asbestos insulation board, cleaning light fittings attached to asbestos insulating boards and cleaning guttering on an asbestos cement roof. If you plan to disturb asbestos, e.g. by drilling a hole in textured coating or removing an asbestos ceiling tile, then as well as awareness training, you will need job-specific, non-licenced asbestos training. This will give you the skills to:

12 Don’t start work if… You are not sure if there is asbestos where you are working The asbestos materials are sprayed coatings, board or insulation and lagging on pipes and boilers – only licenced contractors should work on these You have not been trained to do non-licenced work with asbestos. Basic awareness training is not enough.

13 You should only continue work if… Work has been properly planned and the right precautions are in place (e.g. you have the right equipment) The materials are asbestos cement, textured coatings and certain other materials which do not need a licence You have had training in asbestos work and know how to work with it safely.

14 If you work with asbestos… Use hand tools – not power tools Keep materials damp – not too wet Wear a properly fitted, suitable face mask, (e.g. disposable FFP3 type). An ordinary dust mask will NOT be effective Double bag asbestos waste and label the bags properly Clean up as you go – use a special (Class H) vacuum cleaner, not a brush After work, wipe down your overalls with a damp rag or wear disposable overalls (Type 5) Always remove overalls before removing your mask Wear boots without laces or disposable boot covers Put disposable clothing items in asbestos waste bags and dispose of them properly Don’t carry asbestos into your car or home Don’t smoke, eat or drink in the work area Don’t take overalls home to wash.

15 More information The HSE has a range of Asbestos Essentials task sheets that will show you how to carry out a range of non-licenced tasks safely. They are free to download at Source: Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0. For a fantastic range of PPE, Asbestos Safety Signs, Tapes and Training Aids, go to


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