HSE Launches New Asbestos Awareness Campaign – ‘Asbestos and You

HSE Launches New Asbestos Awareness Campaign – ‘Asbestos and You’:

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the risks associated with asbestos. The campaign is aimed at electricians, maintenance engineers, plumbers, joiners, construction and other trades and also targets younger workers. The new campaign is called ‘Asbestos and You’. The HSE also wants to reach workers who started their careers after the use of asbestos was banned in 1999.

The HSE is concerned that the length of time it takes for symptoms to develop after asbestos exposure could lead to a perception among today’s younger workers that it is something that only impacts older people who were working before the ban.

Five thousand people a year still die from asbestos related illnesses and asbestos can still be found in buildings built or refurbished before the year 2000.

Asbestos containing materials were used extensively in the construction and maintenance of buildings in the UK from the 1950s until the ban. That means workers of all ages could still be exposed to asbestos fibres today.

In launching the new campaign, the HSE statement said that asbestos exposure in Great Britain is still the single greatest cause of work-related deaths. The HSE is committed to protecting people in the workplace and reducing future work-related ill health. Everyone working today, of any age, must take the risk from asbestos seriously. Asbestos is dangerous when not maintained in a safe condition or if physically disturbed without the right measures in place to avoid fibres being released into the air. It is crucial that all workers know how to recognise the dangers and take the right actions to protect themselves and those around them from being exposed to asbestos fibres.

If asbestos fibres are inhaled, they can cause serious diseases such as Mesothelioma, asbestos related lung cancer, Asbestosis, and pleural thickening. These diseases often take a long time to develop, and it can take 20 to 30 years for symptoms to appear. Tradespeople of any age are at significant risk if they disturb materials containing asbestos during maintenance works, repairs and refurbishment work on buildings. Any job, any day of the week, can potentially release lethal asbestos fibres. It’s not like dust –  you can’t see, smell, or feel the fibres in the air or on your clothes.

New HSE ‘Asbestos and You’ Quick Guide To Asbestos:

Attached is a copy of the new HSE Guide for your information. There are a number of simple, quick steps that workers can take to reduce the dangers of asbestos. The HSE has created this new guide to help explain the main risks and what to do about them, as well as legal responsibilities.

For more information about the ‘Asbestos and You’ campaign, you can visit the HSE’s website for further guidance on asbestos at this link:

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

23LTB069 HSE Launches New Asbestos Awareness Campaign – ‘Asbestos and You’


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