Beware asbestos

Beware asbestos

Beware asbestos

First published in Letters

Whilst there is no suggestion that staff working for the company, were exposed to asbestos during their work, the dangers of, and the needs for proper controls, are highlighted by The Argus report Company given £15,000 fine for asbestos work, August 30.

I see a number of (particularly retired) employees who had worked on sites containing asbestos, and the substance is very common in buildings that are still used nowadays.

The diseases that can develop from exposure can take many years to show, so it is essential, if you find that there is the slightest chance that you have been exposed, to make sure you register this with your GP, and your trade union.

The purpose of this, is to be able to prove liability if you develop a disease later in life.

In Brighton and Hove, some very good work has been carried out in the public sector to assess the risk in buildings, including schools, colleges and offices – even so, there are still exposures, occasionally affecting staff.

Similarly, in the private sector there are responsible employers doing the same.

But, the fact is, any building dating from before the early 1980s, should be assumed to contain asbestos products, and if any work is to take place, it should be assessed first for asbestos – better safe than sorry.

This is one area that the Government’s ill-conceived ‘war on red tape’ should not be allowed to touch.

Asbestosis and related diseases have horrendous health consequences. Anyone who has seen a loved one die in this way, can testify to that.

Alex Knutsen

UNISON

Town Hall

Brighton

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