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31st October, 2017

Escape The Hidden Killer (A Health And Safety Horror Story)

It's halloween, and lurking in thousands of buildings is the makings of a health and safety horror story... the hidden killer.

Claiming over 4,000 deaths per year (a figure that continues to rise), the hidden killer waits silently for its next victim.

Don't let it be you.

Who is the hidden killer?

ASBESTOS!

Why is asbestos referred to as the hidden killer? Asbestos fibres are so fine you can’t see them as you breathe them in, and asbestos containing materials cannot be visually identified.

Another reason asbestos is called the hidden killer, is that you might not know you have been exposed for more than 30 years. Symptoms can take years, or even decades to develop, those who are dying today may have been exposed in the 80’s or 90's.

How can you escape the hidden killer?

Asbestos will not harm you if it's in good condition and not disturbed. Get the right survey, and you can unmask its location and save yourself (and others) from accidental exposure.

Asbestos may be known as the ‘hidden killer’ but it should be no secret that if you are in the construction industry, or do any work such as maintenance that can disturb building materials, you are at risk of exposure.

Asbestos was used widely as a construction material because (like any good villain) it is as brilliant as it is lethal.

Brilliant? What is so brilliant about one of the greatest health risks facing the construction industry?

As a building material, the properties of asbestos are brilliant. Great sound and heat insulation, strong, cheap and with fantastic fire resistance, virtually indestructible, asbestos really was deemed as a fantastic product, and that is why it was used so much in construction.

If you work in construction or any other profession where you may disturb asbestos you should be trained in asbestos awareness as a minimum, and this knowledge should be regularly refreshed.

Find out more about our Asbestos Awareness Course, and download your certificate on successful completion.

Most importantly, stay aware and safe from the hidden killer.

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This article was written by Emma at HASpod. Emma has over 10 years experience in health and safety and BSc (Hons) Construction Management. She is NEBOSH qualified and Tech IOSH.

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