News that the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has just published a revised guidance on managing asbestos risks, entitled ‘Asbestos: The Survey Guide’, aimed at anyone surveying or removing asbestos from business premises, is a reminder of a former lack of asbestos awareness in the workplace, which still causes so many illnesses and fatalities today.

Under the Control of Asbestos Regulations, the person responsible for non-domestic building maintenance is required to assess the asbestos risk and provide a detailed survey to workers involved with repairs, demolition or asbestos removal.

The guide explains the survey’s role in minimising exposure risk and offers asbestos advice on what to cover in the survey, such as the position and condition of the asbestos.

It also contains information on the appearance and likely location of asbestos-containing materials and more detail on carrying out refurbishment and demolition surveys.

Along with examples of best practice, this updated and user-friendly guidance really helps people understand and relate to real-life situations and dangers attached to coming across asbestos. The incidence of asbestosis and mesothelioma contracted in both the workplace and domestic dwellings is still significant, as reflected in the level of asbestos compensation handled by a specialist asbestosis lawyer.

Remember – equipment such as ovens, insulating mats, fire blankets, oven gloves, ironing surfaces, and equipment with soundproofing, thermal insulation and brakes purchased new after 2000 contains no asbestos but be aware that second-hand or old equipment may still do.

If your work involved, or still does involve maintenance, you should have been  alerted to the disturbance of asbestos in old equipment. It is essential that awareness issues relating to the existence or discovery of asbestos require a ‘management survey’ stating the asbestos type, location, extent, condition and any surface treatment.  A licensed asbestos waste contractor must be contacted and asked for advice.

Any one or more of the above factors could be an important element of supporting information that may be relevant to progressing with an asbestos claim to a successful outcome.