Lung Health for you and your Workers

The 21st – 27th June this year is ‘Love Your Lungs’ week in the UK. There are many ways to look after your lungs, and when it comes to the workplace there are welfare regulations in place to protect workers, from ensuring they have adequate ventilation, wearing the correct PPE for specific tasks, and ensuring a certain level of air quality within the workplace.

The HSE says employers must make sure there is adequate ventilation in enclosed areas of their workplace, bringing in fresh air from outside and removing indoor air, which may be stale, hot and humid because of work machinery and processes, and/or contain pollutants and other impurities.

We all know that asbestos has, and continues to a be a huge issue, as up until 1999 it was used widely in the construction of many buildings including schools, hospitals, and homes, despite the fact that it was known to be an extremely hazardous substance.

The result is that it still effects the lives of many whether directly through their health, or indirectly through the disruption of their homes and schools becoming inaccessible while asbestos is safely removed. Sadly, there are still many cases of workers becoming terminally ill as a result of working with the substance for decades, killing around 20 tradesmen every week.

So when considering the welfare of your workers within your business, what do you need to know about asbestos?

The HSE advises that if you are a building owner or are responsible for the maintenance or repair of a non-domestic building then it is your duty to manage asbestos in that building. As the duty holder you must:

•  Find out if asbestos is present

•  Make a record of the location, type, and condition of the asbestos

•  Assess the risk of anyone being exposed to the asbestos

•  Prepare a plan on how to manage these risks

•  Put the plan into action, monitor it and keep it up to date

•  Provide this information to anyone who might work on or disturb the asbestos

When considering the safety of workers who might, through the nature of their work, encounter this substance on sites other than your own, asbestos awareness training should be provided.

If you would like further advice, or information on asbestos awareness training, please contact us.