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ASBESTOS HUB | ISSUE 5 Welcome to issue #5 of this now established quarterly magazine. I am delighted to welcome all existing and new readers to the fifth issue of the asbestos industry quarterly must read - Asbestos Hub magazine. Eagle-eyed readers will see from our front cover that our media partnership has shifted to one of the UK’s leading training associations UKATA. This partnership is for the next 12 months where we will be fulfilling a similar role that we had with asbestos industry association ACAD up until the previous issue. I thank Craig Evans the COO at UKATA massively for his trust in us and wanting to associate UKATA with Asbestos Hub. It would be remiss of me not to take a moment to massively thank Graham and his team at ACAD for supporting us from our inception and assisting this now quarterly staple to get off the ground and succeed. For that I shall be eternally grateful. Our work with ACAD and its members does not stop there, we look forward to bringing ACAD members news and events as we have done since our inception and look forward to the new partnership with UKATA. Inside this issue we have a very interesting piece from Brett Millward, Managing Director of IE-365 on asbestos risk in disaster emergency response. Across the pond George C Keefe has an article on encasement and we report on our longstanding friend and a mesothelioma survivor Mavis Nye who recently picks up a British Empire Medal alongside much, much more. This particular issue falls directly into sister publication Demolition Hub’s bi-monthly publication slot so we have taken the decision that all print subscribers will be treated to our other magazine for the UK and global demolition industry for free. Please let me know your thoughts on Demolition Hub as well as this edition via firstname.lastname@example.org I have been asked to do a short speech at the Asbestonomy event in London on the 16th June, I hope many of our readers will be there in person, to secure a ticket please go to: REGISTER - https://asbestonomy.com/register/ I hope to see you there! I wish you all the best in health and hope to see you at an event or on site very soon,
Ben Chambers Publisher, Asbestos Hub email@example.com
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All the latest news and information from the industry body
A diary of a Mesowarrior living with mesothelioma by Mavis Nye
Taking the opportunity to improve asbestos management in the UK by Charles PIckles
What’s happening to your asbestos waste? by Tony Windsor
The IATP – Award Certificate Generator
The European Asbestos Forum: where sharing makes us stronger by Dr Yvonne Waterman
Getting the most out of Occupational Hygiene Surveys
Asbestos risk in disaster emergency response by Brett Millward of IE-365
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Front cover image: Asbestos jewelery pendant supplied by Tony Rich - Asbestos Hunter. Approx. 4" diameter polished jewelry pendant with small veins of asbestiform serpentine (akachrysotile asbestos); sold at public retail marketplaces under the generic name: "Green Zebra Jasper".
Asbestos dangers from the past
Set 40-year deadline for nondomestic building asbestos removal, say MPs
Global Asbestos Awareness Week: Asbestos Monitoring saves lives, but vital we maximise accuracy and minimise risks
Managing asbestos in place, by George C Keefe
EASILY ACCESS THE LATEST ISSUES
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Over 5,000 people die in the UK each year due to asbestos related diseases. It is a legal requirement that all who may come across asbestos in their day to day work have been provided with the relevant asbestos training. Asbestos can be found in many products used in building materials and may also be present in soils and surrounding grounds.
Have you received asbestos training? UK Asbestos Training Association “UKATA” sets standards in asbestos training and ensures that its members meet those standards. Book with a UKATA approved asbestos training provider using the nationwide directory online at www.ukata.org.uk or call 01246 824 437.
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Ensure you have the right level of information, instruction and training. UKATA Training Course Portfolio Asbestos Awareness Asbestos Awareness E-Learning Asbestos Non-Licensed Operative Licensable Work with Asbestos Duty to Manage Asbestos Duty to Manage Asbestos: Appointed Person RPE Competent Person Asbestos Project Managers Asbestos Surveying & Sampling Refresher Asbestos Awareness in Soil and Made Ground Management of Asbestos in Soil and Made Ground
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HSE APPROACH TO ASBESTOS MANAGEMENT Parliamentary Report - UKATA Chair Responds Download Full Report: The Health and Safety Executive’s approach to asbestos management The UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) was invited to attend as a witness to the recent UK Parliament, Work and Pensions Committee on “The Health and Safety Executive’s approach to asbestos management”. UKATA Chair, Graham O’Mahony gave evidence at one of the hearings and the subsequent report was published on 21 April 2022 with several recommendations to HSE. One recommendation which poses huge implications for the asbestos industry is to ‘remove asbestos from all non-domestic buildings within 40 years'. This poses many challenges and further questions. The challenge is the cost to businesses. With many rebuilding their organisations coming out of the pandemic, which could take many years, and the current cost to businesses increasing, it is well acknowledged that asbestos removal poses a risk, albeit low when undertaken correctly. However, with the cost of asbestos removal, some may decide to take this work on themselves without the correct knowledge and skills, thus increasing the risk. Another thing to consider is where is all the hazardous waste going to go? Currently, it is deposited in landfill but with a huge increase in removal, these landfill sites will become full, and we have other environmental impacts to consider. Asbestos removal, other than it removes the hazard, doesn’t save businesses money and in some cases, they are paying twice as much, one for the removal and then the reinstatement costs, adding to the costs to the business owner.
The HSE approach has always been to leave asbestos in place if it is in good condition and unlikely to be disturbed, which may need to be a factor in the decision to remove asbestos within 40 years. The committee also recommended the implementation of a ‘central digital register for non-domestic buildings to highlight its location and type’. One of the key roles in effective asbestos management has always been to share the information with all those that need to know the location of the asbestos containing materials (ACMs). With this ideology, it ensures all those that are likely to come into contact with asbestos will be informed and instructed as to its location and condition. This will assist in their work assessments with the ultimate objective in preventing exposure to asbestos being met. UKATA has considered this recommendation but it would need to be adequately controlled, ensuring only the correct people can access such data and be used to prevent asbestos disturbance. However, caution would need to be considered with access by members of the public, as they may not be aware of the risk of asbestos and are un-trained and often illinformed about the risk of asbestos, especially when it is being adequately managed in a managed environment, which could raise unnecessary concerns and fears of those accessing non-domestic buildings, especially public buildings. The recommendation for more ‘sustained increase in inspection and enforcement’, UKATA believe
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this is required. With Government and DWP ensuring that it provides ‘adequate funding’, this can only result in more inspections and identification of non-compliance with all aspects of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. HSE have actively inspected licensed asbestos removal contractors for many years. However, with an increased programme, HSE could focus on areas such as Duty Holders, ensuring the duty to manage is being complied with and duty holders are actively managing asbestos, rather than just ensuring they have an asbestos survey. Many believe this meets the requirement, falling short of compliance, with no up to date asbestos register, no active and utilised action plan and more importantly no communication plan. From increased inspections, HSE would be better placed to assess the competency of the duty holders and ‘whether it needs to specify minimum knowledge, training or other requirements for people performing this critical role.’ In 2006, HSE released the ACoP L143, and specified the minimum training for trade operatives and others likely to come into contact with asbestos during their day to day work activities would need to have, as a minimum, asbestos awareness training. This was a game changer for the construction sector. All that are employed provided with the basic asbestos awareness, informing them as to the location of ACMs and what to do in the event of accidental disturbance, with an ultimate aim to prevent their exposure and prevent
others from becoming exposed to asbestos. This additional requirement had a huge positive effect on the construction sector, as prior to this, many were not aware of what asbestos was, the dangers of the material and where it could be found in premises. With this increased knowledge, workers were asking the correct questions and identifying asbestos, or what they presumed to be asbestos, before they disturbed the fabric of the building, thus resulting in a reduction of exposure to asbestos across the sector. Unfortunately, there was no minimum standard of information, instruction, and training for duty holders. Because of this lack of standard and the need for a specific course for duty holders and appointed persons, UKATA developed the UKATA Duty to Manage – Appointed Person (DTMAP) three day training course which covers in detail the duties required to actively manage asbestos within premises. Since its launch in 2018, the DTMAP has been an enormous success and the uptake for this training continues to increase. To date over 1,000 delegates have attended the course and obtained their certificate of training, demonstrating that they have the skills and knowledge to successfully manage asbestos and ensure compliance with the control of asbestos regulations 2012, Regulation 4. The feedback from all the delegates has been hugely positive, commenting that they have gained so much knowledge to implement in their day to day work to ensure they met the requirements of the regulations. One of the most successful campaigns that the HSE launched was the “Hidden Killer Campaign” that strived to make workers aware of the dangers of asbestos and that it wasn’t readily visible, and their disturbance of asbestos could cause health problems in the future. The recommendation that the HSE should commit to investing more in sustained campaigning work, this is
very much supported by UKATA. Over the past 14 years, UKATA has supported and promoted a number of HSE campaigns and will continue to support any future campaigns through its own platforms and media channels to its nearly 200 members and 10,000 website visitors every month. There are thousands of asbestos surveys undertaken in the UK every day, the majority of these are undertaken by accredited organisations that have met a strict quality and technical standard set down in ISO 17020 and HSG264. However, there are many asbestos surveys that are undertaken by organisations and individuals that hold no accreditation and do not meet this quality and technical standard. For many years this standard has not been a mandatory requirement, unlike the clearance testing following on from asbestos removal works, any organisation undertaking the certificate of reoccupation are required to hold accreditation in the UK. With the recommendation that the HSE ‘makes it mandatory for all people conducting asbestos surveys to be accredited’, this is a huge leap forward in ensuring that all organisations or individuals meet the quality standards that have been in place for many years. This would ensure that the quality of surveys and inspections would increase and reduce the likelihood of missed asbestos containing materials, which inevitably will have an adverse increase in exposure and spread of asbestos. UKATA fully supports this recommendation to ensure quality surveys are provided to duty holders to effectively manage their asbestos. One final recommendation that UKATA has considered is ‘how it could consolidate, tighten, and simplify the current categorisation of asbestos works'. UKATA has developed, enhanced and promoted quality and accurate training delivery in the UK for over 14 years. All off its members are
fully assessed, verified, audited and work within the UKATA Competency Framework and as such, are fully conversant in the understanding and delivery of clear and concise knowledge of the regulations, ensuring that the category of asbestos works is made clear to its delegates, so do not see this as requiring simplification. However, the area of concern that UKATA Chair, Graham O’Mahony stated while providing evidence was ‘that the addition of a third category of asbestos material (notifiable non-licensed work) in the 2012 asbestos regulations, prompted by European Union requirements, had “confused things even more”. UKATA would like to see this category of work removed and revert to the two categories which were easier to understand pre 2012, that being licensable works and non-licensable works. Within the final report there were many recommendations, which UKATA has considered. However, the aforementioned comments warranted a response. UKATA, having provided evidence at this hearing, felt this was an opportunity to provide the view of the association, its members, directors and to support the findings and recommendations,. UKATA will continue to work closely with the HSE going forward as we have done so in the past.
Graham O'Mahony UKATA Chair
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Mavis Nye Foundation Cycle Club Charity Fundraiser Organised by UKATA The Mavis Nye Foundation Fundraiser Event UKATA is excited to introduce to readers the launch of ‘The Mavis Nye Foundation Cycle Club (MNFCC)’, a charity fundraiser event organised by UKATA in support of the Mavis Nye Foundation. The MNFCC team will take part in various cycle races across the UK, starting with the ‘Yorkshire Corker’ on 5th June 2022 and culminating in the ‘UKCW Kent Classic’ on 9th October 2022. Lead cyclist and auditor for UKATA, Ab Woolass will lead his team - Marnie Owen, James Griffiths, and Toni Purvis, on this epic challenge to raise funds to assist the research into mesothelioma.
Official ‘Supporter’ Opportunity Even though all cycle kit sponsorship opportunities have now been taken, organisations and individuals still have the opportunity to become involved and back this event as an official ‘Supporter’. Supporter’ opportunities are available to organisations or individuals who wish to donate a minimum of £50. For this minimum donation, all participants will receive the ‘Supporter’ logo which can be displayed on marketing materials including your website, social media channels and written publications. For a minimum donation of £100, your company logo will also be displayed on the MNFCC website. If you would like to donate, please visit mnfcc.ukata.org.uk. Wishing Ab and the team the very best of luck for their first race on Sunday 5th June.
Keep up to date with MNFCC news and the cycling journey on the MNFCC blog
4 RIDERS | 8 RACES TOTAL DISTANCE OF 736 MILES
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Meet The MNFCC Riders Ab Woolass - Team Leader I started cycling back in 2020, at the beginning of lockdown when Covid first hit us. I got out my trusty hybrid bike and started off on a short distance of about 10 miles, I managed to keep going each day. After a while I bought a road bike (then another and another) and then the daily mileage increased. In 2021, I took cycling to the next level by completing the Everest Challenge, which I completed in 16 hours. Two weeks later, I took part in the Lincolnshire 105 mile sportive, finishing a very respectable 7th place. All together in the year I took part in eight events, some flat courses and some very hilly. I have the nickname of “The Mountain Goat” in some of the local cycling clubs. Toni Purvis I started cycling out of pure necessity. I moved to London to kickstart my career and simply could not afford the public transport. After I got into the swing of London commuting, I realised I quite enjoyed cycling as a sport. After a few trips to the Surrey Hills, a couple of London to Whitstable rides, and a few outings with my uncle in the Midlands, I was hooked. Years have passed, I’ve met some amazing people and had some amazing journeys. I toured Europe with a tent strapped to the back, and a sleeping bag at the front.
James Griffiths I’ve been cycling for about four years, I got into it after suffering the fear of missing out when my mates all started out on two wheels and I find it amazing! My biggest cycling achievement to date is cycling from Kidderminster to Aberystwyth. My future cycling aspirations are: John O’ Groats to Lands End, coast to coast and NC500 (North Coast 500). I am looking forward to donning my lycra whilst seeing some new routes on this fantastic island of ours for an amazing charity. Marnie Owen I work full time for West Midlands Ambulance Service. During the pandemic my shifts were very tough due to treating patients with Covid19, so I started cycling to work and back as a way of stress relief! I then realised that I really enjoyed cycling and joined a local cycling club. I have taken part in regular club rides and events since. My biggest achievement last year was completing my first century ride from Warwick to Oxford and back. I was supported by several members of Warwick Lanterne Rouge cc and not only was this my biggest achievement but it was the longest ride I have ever done.
MNFCC CORPORATE SPONSORS
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A diary of a Mesowarrior: Living with mesothelioma
I was presented with the BEM so very honoured for myself and all the Mesowarriors past and present and is managed by the Chevening Secretariat at the Association of Commonwealth Universities. So here I was for the belated BEM alongside so many very interesting winners • •
20 April 2022 The day of my Investiture. We travelled to Chevening House near Sevenoaks for the longawaited BEM ceremony as COVID had got in the way. As we called the gatehouse on the phone to open the gate and we rolled into the courtyard of this wonderful house we knew it was going to be so special.
A film set was before us. Such a wonderful country house The Chevening Awards programme began in 1983 and has developed into a prestigious international programme that is open to future leaders and influencers in over 160 countries and territories. The programme provides scholarships at higher education institutions in the United Kingdom for postgraduate students, and fellowships for midcareer professionals working in fields related to the FCO’s policy goals. The programme is funded by the FCO and partner organisations
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• • •
Casey Abbott. Store Manager, Iceland Foods. For Services to Retail. Victoria Baldock. Assistant Headteacher. For Services to Education. Tracy Carr. Chair, Talk It Out In Deal. For Services to Mental Health Funding and the Community in Deal, Kent. Danny Hawkins. Facilities Delivery Manager, Network Rail. For Services to the Railway. Adam McEvoy. For Disabled and Young People through Sport. Chloî Newman. For Services to the Manufacturing of PPE in Tenterden, Kent during Covid-19. Mavis Nye. Chief Executive, The Mavis Nye Foundation.
For Services to People with Mesothelioma. Lynda Shepherd. For Services to the Community in Kilndown. Dawn Stanford. For Services to the community in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, particularly during Covid-19. Johnathan Wilson. For Services to the community in Folkestone, Kent during Covid-19.
I totally messed up as I was supposed to stand in front of the
Lord Lieutenant and I didn't so she had to move over to me, but I was so overwhelmed and out of my comfort zone. After the ceremony we went to the drawing room for refreshment and spent time talking to everyone. A lady came over to me and asked if I would talk to her husband and he told me his mother had died from mesothelioma so we had a chat. Talking to the Second Lieutenant I cheekily gave her a lesson on
saying mesothelioma as she was saying it wrong. It was a “by George, she's got it” moment. It was a wonderful day and I just love all the awareness it raised to mesothelioma and asbestos. What a wonderful honour. Next month I go to Buck House for a garden party, something that I have always wanted to do and in the same evening my DNA is going to the Science Museum in an exhibition and there is a dinner so that's a great day to look forward to.
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Let us take this opportunity to improve asbestos management in the UK
By Charles Pickles Independent Asbestos Consultant
Introduction: From 2016 to 2019, I was director and significant shareholder in the UK’s largest asbestos consultancy company, which I had co-founded in 2002. I was becoming increasingly disgruntled with the efficacy of the legislative regime and industry practice, from which I and probably you, were making a living. The more I read and observed first hand the more determined I became to speak out about the shortcomings of asbestos management and, with two decades of practical experience, how the practice could be improved to reduce asbestos exposures. The figure on the right illustrates the UK’s asbestos importation and mesothelioma rates, compared to other European countries. Upon meeting mesothelioma sufferers, I began to reflect upon my own exposure history. In 1999, I was the analyst at an overseas power station for seven months. Routinely the asbestos (amosite) fibre levels were over 0.01 fibre / ml. Nobody seemed at all concerned and my knowledge level at the time was that 0.01 fibres / ml - the “clearance indicator” was assumed to be a miniscule and
inconsequential concentration. Nothing to worry about then? For the next fifteen years, I worked as an analyst and surveyor, taking thousands of material samples and spending many days, weeks and months on asbestos removal sites. Now I realise that this level of exposure, particularly to amosite in my early twenties, was sufficient to elevate my probability of contracting mesothelioma later in
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life. This is not a good feeling, but I suspect is common to many of us working in this industry. In 2017, whilst in discussion with a senior asbestos HSE inspector at a prominent asbestos conference, we discussed the rising and elevated mesothelioma death rate among female teachers. The reason proffered for this was that these young women must have worked on building sites, during
university holidays and been exposed there. This stunned me as I do not imagine many young educated female students worked on building sites during the 1970s. The obvious explanation is that these people were exposed while working as teachers in school, surrounded by asbestos. Adopting the precautionary principle, it is unforgivable not to reach
this conclusion, but to proffer the preferred and yet unlikely explanation. This matters today, because if the problem of current low level exposure is not accepted, researched and fully understood, we can not predict the number of mesothelioma deaths in the latter half of this century, just as we failed to predict the current mesothelioma epidemic.
It struck me that we had and still have a real and current problem with ongoing asbestos exposure. Everyone in the asbestos consultancy industry who I spoke with concurred, but nobody and disappointingly, no institution or organisation were highlighting this issue. So to sum up, we have the worst legacy asbestos problem in the world, our standards and practices are far from the best practicable techniques and the relevant institutions were reluctant to acknowledge this and incapable of providing the needed solutions. It was against this backdrop that the “Airtight on Asbestos” campaign was founded, with the aim of bringing international best practice to asbestos management here in the UK. The campaign has so far resulted directly in an investigation of the Health and Safety Executives Approach to Asbestos Management, by the Work and Pensions Parliamentary Select Committee, the key recommendations from which are discussed next.
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The Key Recommendations:
Summary of House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee Report Low Hanging Fruit: The following four recommendations appear to be relatively uncontroversial and ought to be adopted without delay 1. HSE enforcement and funding: We recommend the HSE commits to a sustained increase in inspection and enforcement activity targeting compliance with the Control of Asbestos Regulations. Repeating our recommendation from June 2020, the government and DWP should ensure that it provides adequate funding to the HSE to support this increased programme of work over the medium term.
3. Consolidation, tightening and simplification of works classification: We recommend that the HSE considers how it could consolidate, tighten, and simplify the current categorisation of asbestos works as part of its 2022 statutory review of the Control of Asbestos Regulations. Its review should carefully assess the net behavioural impacts and costs of any changes. (Paragraph 112)
2. Awareness to tradespeople and duty holders: The HSE should commit to investing more in sustained campaigning work across a range of media, using multiple interventions and synchronising with the development of its wider strategy for asbestos management. It should employ robust evaluation methods to test what messages and which methods achieve the greatest impact on the behaviours of dutyholders and tradespeople. (Paragraph 102)
4. Accreditation for all asbestos surveyors: We recommend that the HSE makes it mandatory for all people conducting asbestos surveys to be accredited by a recognised accreditation body. 5. Recording of asbestos related deaths: We also recommend that the government investigates opportunities to improve the occupational information recorded on death certificates.
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1. National strategic asbestos plan bound by 40-year deadline: We recommend that a deadline now be set for the removal of asbestos from non-domestic buildings, within 40 years. The government and the HSE should develop and publish a strategic plan to achieve this, focusing on removing the highest risk asbestos first, and the early removal from the highest risk settings including schools. This plan should, in the first instance, commit to urgently improving the evidence around safer asbestos removal and disposal, considering relative costs and benefits. It should integrate with – and take full account of – proposals for the upgrading of the built environment linked to net zero targets and wider waste management strategies. (Paragraph 52) 2. National asbestos database: • We recommend that the HSE works with others in government to develop a central digital register of asbestos in non-domestic buildings, describing its location and type. In the first instance, the concept of a central register could be tested using asbestos data from public buildings such as schools and hospitals. In the meantime, we also recommend that the HSE conducts research which complements its inspection programme to identify the extent to which dutyholders are, in fact, complying with their obligations under the asbestos regulations. (Paragraph 83) • We recommend that the HSE strengthens its work with, and guidance to, dutyholders to make clear their obligations to communicate asbestos information and risks to building contractors and
Discussion: users. We also recommend that the HSE works with others in government to sponsor improvements in how information on asbestos in buildings is communicated and used, drawing on lessons from the use of digital technologies in building management and in the health response to the pandemic. (Paragraph 67) 3. Air monitoring and control: • Measurement of asbestos exposures in non-domestic buildings: We recommend that the HSE develops and implements a robust research framework for the systematic measurement of current asbestos exposures in nondomestic buildings, using a range of measurement and sampling techniques and informed by international experiences and approaches. It should ensure that adequate consideration is given to exposure measurement in schools and other public buildings. • Environmental asbestos air monitoring: We recommend the HSE works with others in the UK and devolved governments to continue to review and share the evidence relating to routine, environmental, air monitoring of asbestos fibres. • Occupational exposure limits: We recommend the HSE ensures its current review of the control of asbestos regulations includes a thorough written assessment of moves towards more stringent asbestos occupational exposure limits in Europe. It should carefully consider their application to the GB context, taking full account of costs and benefits. It should ensure that the extent of the asbestos legacy in Great Britain is not seen as reason to tolerate poorer health standards.
Taken together, these recommendations, if adopted fully, would vastly improve and modify in line with best international practice asbestos management here in the UK. Unfortunately the government and HSE argued against the need for all of these recommendations that they are now being asked to implement so may not be inclined to do so. The three major areas of reform relate to a national
asbestos database, a national asbestos strategy and an overhaul of the air monitoring regime so that it becomes fit for detecting or refuting chronic low level, but dangerous, exposure to asbestos. All three of these initiatives have been adopted by other peer nations so are reasonable. Arguments of feasibility and cost have been shown to be untrue by recent digital precedents and by other nations.
A Call to Action: Asbestos management could be defined as, “stopping people breathing in asbestos fibres”. If you are reading this article, the chances are you are in this line of work. We all have a duty to speak
out and argue for the adoption of these measures, because they represent a once in a generation opportunity to improve asbestos management and to stop many more dying an early death.
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What’s happening to your asbestos waste? by Tony Windsor of Windsor Waste Management We have always been committed to providing the highest standards of service and raising standards within the industry which is why we have invested in our management systems and are accredited to the latest health, safety, and quality standards. We know that we can be audited at any time of the day or week and that we must always be on our game to maintain these standards.
The removal of asbestos from buildings in the UK is heavily regulated. High-risk asbestos removal work can only be undertaken by HSE Licensed Contractors and there are strict regulations around the maintenance and removal of asbestos within UK premises under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, but what happens to the waste once it’s removed? Windsor Waste Management has been providing Asbestos Waste Management services to the Asbestos Removal Industry for more than 20 years. Founder and owner Tony Windsor talks about why businesses need to ensure, that asbestos waste is handled by an approved and competent waste management partner. It is important to remember that under Duty-of-Care regulations, businesses have a legal responsibility to ensure that the waste they produce is stored,
transported, and disposed of correctly, and without harm to the environment or the public. If the process is not stringent enough and there is a breach of regulations that affects the health and safety of the staff involved in the process or the public, the consequences can be serious and can put a business’s brand and reputation on the line. Businesses should undertake the following checks as a minimum standard before appointing a waste management contractor to avoid the risk of falling fail to suppliers who are not operating in line with the necessary legal requirements. Can your supplier demonstrate they are meeting legislative requirements? This should go beyond, checking whether a supplier has up-to-date Waste Carriers Licenses, Permits, and Insurances. Recent malpractice identified within the industry around the handling of asbestos waste has highlighted the need to go further when it comes to checking the competence of your waste management provider.
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What standards of training are being applied? Are the supplier’s staff trained, competent, and fully aware of the dangers when it comes to handling asbestos waste? Windsor Waste Management is FORS Silver accredited and all our drivers undergo ongoing training and continuous development including asbestos awareness training and dynamic risk assessments training. This means our drivers can make informed decisions on the spot about the safety of their operations in any circumstances. If necessary, request to check training records of driving and operational staff dealing with asbestos waste. Under FORS accreditation records are dynamically updated as and when staff undertakes training requirements. What is their incident and accident record? Check incident and accident records. A high rate of incidence or accident could be a tell-tale sign that due process and procedure is not being followed or that the investment is not being put into
ASBESTOS MANAGEMENT NOTICE
PLEASE SCAN ME
In accordance with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, no works may be undertaken which could lead to the disturbance of asbestos fibres. Before undertaking any works, please consult the Asbestos Register which can be downloaded by scanning the QR code here with your smartphone or tablet. If you are in any doubt, please contact your supervisor or the property manager before commencing any works on these premises.
Be Asbestos Smart! In case of an asbestos emergency please contact the number below immediately:
0203 697 8282
Free barcode apps are available for most devices.
UNAUTHORISED WORKS ON ASBESTOS MATERIALS ARE PROHIBITED AND CAN RESULT IN SEVERE FINES AND/OR IMPRISONMENT.
Staff & Contractors, please scan the QR Code here to see our short asbestos educational videos:
If you would like to find out more how UKNAR can help you and your clients with its Asbestos SMART service please contact us
UK National Asbestos Register CIC Tel: 020 3697 8282 Email: enquiries@UKNAR.org Web: www.uknar.org
the training and development of staff. At Windsor Waste management we are very proud of our incident and accident record having had no reportable (RIDDOR) accidents or incidents in the last six years. Operational safety standards? Working with potentially harmful wastes, we treat the occupational health and safety of our staff very seriously. PPE for our drivers, operational staff, and customers attending our waste transfer stations are of paramount importance. Observing how your contractor operates, as well as requesting relevant risk assessments and method statements can provide a good indication of how seriously a contractor takes their responsibilities when it comes to the safety and protection of staff.
the level of investment and commitment in ensuring they are operating to the highest of industry standards and best practices. Does the contractor have a Safe Systems in Procurement (SSIP) Accreditation as this demonstrates that at the very minimum the contractor should meet basic health and safety laws? Windsor Waste Management is both ACCLAIM (SSIP) and Constructionline Gold
Accredited, which meets the Common Assessment Standard, which has fast become the gold standard of assessment in the construction industry. For further advice or assistance on asbestos waste disposal requirements contact Windsor Waste Management on 01708 559 966 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trade association membership and SSIP accreditation What does the contractor have outside of the minimum standards of operation as this can indicate,
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The IATP - Award Certificate Generator
From the creation of the IATP in 2010, all of its members have been able to produce certificates in their own style, using their own format, fonts, description of course, livery etc. in order to maintain and promote their independence and individuality as a training provider. As nice as it is allowing the IATP member to show and promote this unique identity, this has presented several issues when it comes to external parties when verifying training and more importantly, when it comes to identifying fake, fraudulent or manipulated asbestos training certification. Due to the varied number of styles, layouts and details presented on certificates produced by IATP members, it is difficult for the IATP to verify that the training certificate being presented is linked to the training that has been delivered by a particular member. Until now, the only real way of validation was to contact the training provider directly. Due to the variations in styles and detail seen on the IATP members certificates, has meant that many organisations, awarding bodies and even end clients were
reluctant to accept our members’ training. As a result of this, the “IATP – Award Certificate Generator” was born. Our goal as an organisation is to ensure that end users and these who are being presented with IATP members certificates will have confidence in what has been presented. Commencing in May 2022, IATP members shall be able to produce certificates for their training using a standard certificate format. Although standardised, members can still retain and promote their brand, but the layout and the features of the certificate make it
Where the data is not correct, a window is shown when that there are no records or that the data entered does not correspond to that held on the system, i.e., there is no certificate with those details.
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harder to fake and a lot easier to verify. When IATP members generate certificates on the “IATP – Award Certificate Generator”, every certificate is created using a standardised template that displays a unique certificate number which, when entered on the verification page of the IATP website, www.iatp.org.uk, will allow the person checking the certificate not only to verify it, but also view or download it as a PDF copy. To access the “IATP –Award Certificate Generator”, all one needs do is visit the IATP website, www.iatp.org.uk then at the top of the page, you’ll find the “Certificate Validator” link. Alternatively, under the “Find a Training Provider” tab you have the option to use the “Training Certificate Validator” Here the user is given a box to enter the details presented on the certificate such as entering the candidates name and unique certificate number, then where these are genuine, a copy of the certificate can be viewed or if required, downloaded.
In this case, the person validating the certificate should make direct contact with the training provider who has presented the certificate.
It must be noted, that where a certificate is not in the format seen below and as shown on the IATP website validation page or is not generated on the IATP – Award Certificate Generator, the person verifying it will be informed that no certificate can be located. In this situation it is suggest that the training provider is contacted directly to check the validity of any such certificate. Where members create certificates for licensed and nonlicensed works, each certificate contains a box detailing which modules (Chapter 4 of HSG 247 The Licensed Contractors Guide) or EM and task sheets (HSG 210, the Asbestos Essentials) have been included on the training course, see the “landscape” version below. In addition to the unique certificate number, each certificate also displays a second means of verification in the form of a QR Code. When scanned, the user is presented with an image of the certificate, which again they can download or if required, just viewed and checked against the physical document being presented on site. Additional security measures have also been added to the certificates to put off the would-be forger, such as the IATP members unique annual membership badge, along with an IATP watermark
behind the course title, the candidates name, and training and expiry/review dates*. By introducing this, it will be clearly obvious if any of these details have been altered or manipulated in any way. Should there still be suspicion as to the certificate’s validity, just scan the code and compare them. There’s also one more level of security, each certificate has an area to display a photograph of the candidate whether it’s an asbestos awareness course or an asbestos licensed manager’s course, after all, a picture is worth a thousand words. Now, we at the IATP do not assume for one minute that a certificate cannot be forged, if a bank note can be forged then why not a training certificate. However,
the harder it’s made to do a bit of faking, the less likely it will be for those of an illegal mindset to do it. Members shall still have their identify, their logo shall be displayed proudly in the upper left corner of the certificate with the IATP logo on the upper right corner. The members contact details are displayed such as phone number, web address and email all below their logo. Members can also choose whether to produce their certificates either in landscape or portrait, the main point is that the features and positions will be the same, whichever way they choose. Then the best bit, the cost of this to members… It’s free! That’s right, no cost. IATP members can produce as few or as many certificates as need and they won’t be charged for it. Over the coming months and well into the future, the IATP will be developing further features and benefits for its members and the asbestos training industry. The IATP, along with its members shall continue to promote and raise awareness to the dangers of asbestos, support worthy campaigns and charities, and work alongside organisations, individuals, and authorities to achieve our joint goal.
Left: Certificate in Portrait layout Above: When the certificate validation system is used, and where the data on the certificate is correct, the validator is presented with the green tick, along with the course title and the date on which the certificate was created.
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The European Asbestos Forum: where sharing makes us stronger by Dr Yvonne Waterman, LLM, MFAAM 24 | asbestos hub magazine
A brief history of the EAF foundation Around the year 2000, I was working hard on my PhD thesis on comparative employer liability law for occupational accidents and diseases; and wondering what the worst occupational disease was that a worker could get. It had to be lethal and obviously work related; and that was how I almost stumbled upon asbestos related diseases. I was staggered to learn that asbestos was by far the biggest occupational killer; why was there no outcry, why was nobody doing anything about asbestos? My liability law professor at the time smirked at my interest in asbestos and discouragingly pointed out that there was no future for a jurist in asbestos in his opinion. “After all, Yvonne, these people are going to die and the litigation will dry up and then where will you be?” This was six years after the introduction of the asbestos ban in the Netherlands. I answered that ‘these people’ shouldn’t be dying in the first place; and that these deaths were preventable; and that literally all around us, in the room where we sat, there was still asbestos everywhere and exposures were not suddenly stopped because of some piece of legislation. All I got from that exchange was a reputation for being difficult. Around the same time, the second big global asbestos conference was about to take place in Athens; and I managed to go there, meeting dedicated people with whom I have stayed in close contact to this very day. One conference led to another: from Athens to Ottawa, from Yokohama to Washington D.C., from Brussels to Amsterdam to Hong Kong and so on. My network grew and grew, while I stretched the bank account to the very limit. I learned that all these conferences were essentially always the same: conferences by lawyers for lawyers, conferences by doctors for doctors, by insurers for insurers, by victims for victims, etcetera. However, there was nothing out there for asbestos
professionals, the ones who actually stand in the front line of eradicating asbestos, and will be the first new victims. Wherever I went, I encountered the same problems, the same honest efforts to seek solutions, the same attitude to develop these solutions nationally and, importantly, the same indifference that asbestos was not a national problem but very much a global problem. Everybody was trying to invent the wheel. I even learned that the Netherlands was one of the worst hit countries globally in terms of asbestos deaths in relation to population size; apparently everybody knew that but the Dutch. Imagine, I had to go thousands of miles away from home to learn that about my own country. One day in 2014, I sat at a speakers panel at an English asbestos conference and asked the audience if any of them knew a counterpart professional in Denmark, a neighboring country. Nobody lifted a hand. Belgium then? Again nothing. France? Holland? Nobody knew anybody else outside their country’s borders; and yet, having attended so may different conferences, I knew there was so much knowledge out there to be shared, to save time, ultimately to save lives. That exact moment, I decided that I was going to start a foundation that would strive towards sharing asbestos networks and asbestos knowledge, with no boundaries, no sectors – just the best of everything for everyone, with a particular focus on ‘crosspollination’, having learned that
different professionals have much to learn and share outside of their own comfort zone, often much more than they realize themselves. Looking for a name, I decided to call it the European Asbestos Forum (EAF) to express the international character, yet without wanting to be too grandiose. In hindsight, that was a mistake, because the EAF has always been about global developments and networks. But there are more important matters than changing a name; like getting on with things. A forum: the place where people congregate as well as the group itself. In 2015, the EAF had its first conference. With the help of many asbestos friends I had made over the years, it was a great start with many renowned speakers and the former Assistant Surgeon-General of the United States, Dr Richard Lemen, as keynote speaker. One advantage of being a proverbial conference tiger is that you know just who to ask for the programme.
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The EAF’s philosophy From the start, the EAF has been about impressing the need to share the very best of asbestos related knowledge freely and willingly, to network, to help each other. Conferences are the main way of doing this. Besides organising the (Covid aside) mostly annual EAF conference, I perform countless introductions every year between asbestos professionals of many countries and completely different backgrounds and encourage them to do the same. There’s a lot of enthusiastic wheeling and dealing going on at the conference, and that’s fine. It’s fun to see useful innovations being devised on the spot between companies that didn’t know each other or their needs a day before and suddenly discover that they can really help each other and make the world a safer place at the same time. I also try to make the networking enjoyable for the visitors; and let’s face it, lots of good food and drinks certainly help to create lasting connections, even friendships. Having a network is not meant to be sat on, as if business cards were golden eggs. Asbestos takes lives. Every year that we can work together, improve awareness and make progress towards safer working methods, and cheaper removal and eradication faster, will save lives. While the EAF is particularly geared to professionals who work
with asbestos – whether they are asbestos removers, surveyors, teachers, accountants, doctors, laboratory technicians, everyone is welcome – the emphasis is on professionals. That is not to say that asbestos victims are excluded, indeed not at all. Every EAF conference has and will always start with a presentation by a victim or victim organisation, to impress on everybody what it is all really about. The bottom line: saving lives. Mavis and Ray Nye have been on the EAF podium; and so has the British Lung Foundation, for example. This year, Heather Von St. James from the United States will speak of being a mesothelioma survivor for 16 years, having been diagnosed with mesothelioma aged 36, three months after her first child was born. Missing an entire lung makes her vulnerable, but she gets on with living life to the full and inspires other victims to not give up hope. The EAF very much strives for excellence – let’s share the best, while we are at it anyway. For this reason, the selection of speakers is very carefully considered and there is also an EAF Recognition Award to acknowledge people who have really excelled in the asbestos field. Mavis has won it. Professors Arthur Frank (USA) and Nico van Zandwijk (NL) won it for their respective lifelong efforts to raise awareness and find a treatment. ARI Global Technologies (UK) won it for making headway into asbestos denaturation and Lloyd Ludlow
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(USA) won it for developing a safer asbestos removal method. Let’s applaud and encourage those who make a real, dedicated effort to make the world a safer place. It gives me great pleasure to see new organisations start up to recognise the needs of asbestos professionals, such as FAAM and FAMANZ. Also, that there is some copying of the EAF conference about, but if anything, that proves that there is a necessity for asbestos professionals to get together and it will ensure that the EAF will keep on its proverbial toes, remaining strongly focused on providing a useful service. It is not so easy to catch up to twentytwo years of global networking and experience. About the upcoming EAF Conference 2022 Of course, after two years of Covid, I’m absolutely delighted to announce the fifth EAF conference. This time, its motto is Asbestos and The State of the Art, defining once again what the latest global scientific, technological and social advances and insights are, the newest innovations, new awareness campaigns, etc. We have a total of twenty speakers from four different continents. Held on 11 November at the Van der Valk Hotel Oostzaan, fifteen minutes from Schiphol Airport, a full day’s classic conference will be rounded off with an excellent dinner. Nikolaj Villumsen, the European
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Parliamentarian who wrote the extensive asbestos resolution, will give the opening speech. In his resolution, which you can find here www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/ document/TA-9-2021-0427_EN.html, he strives to combine the best of asbestos science, innovations and technological solutions. In the near future, the European Commission will use this document to write a new asbestos directive, which all the EU Member States will then have to incorporate into their own legislation. As it shows the state of the art, this is of course also relevant to non EU-Member States, as indeed the recent HSE document on asbestos management shows. One of the main threads throughout the conference is the gradual realisation of the importance of microfibres, also true for asbestos. Professor Arthur Frank will explain how these very underestimated fibres can freely travel throughout the body, even into a fetus, and create their havoc, while others, such as Sean Fitzgerald and an Australian specialist will explain the laboratory techniques and microscopy advances that make these new insights possible. The Keynote Speech will be delivered by Nathalie van de Poel, cofounder and CEO of the Purified Metal Company, the first factory where asbestos contaminated steel scrap will be safely denatured and the resulting clean steel recycled. I have big hopes for decontamination science; we can’t go on disposing of asbestos in
landfills, making it a burden on the environment and a lasting health risk for future generations. Denaturation techniques provide a true eradication of asbestos. With two simultaneous afternoon sessions timed very precisely, there is something for everyone, and it will be possible to change sessions between every presentation. The Social Session The session on social developments will see speakers from countries with varied progression on asbestos bans and policies. Justine Ross of the Australian Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency will present on the impact of new technologies for the Australian eradication programme, while others such as Charles Pickles, Andrew Paten (UKNAR), Liz Darlison (Mesothelioma UK) will explain about progress in various national fields, including awareness, health care and legislation. Sven de Mulder will bring us up to date with the Flanders eradication programme, essentially the leading example for the HSE plans. I also hope to announce a speaker from an Asian country, who literally had to flee for his life when trying to achieve a national asbestos ban. Advances in immunotherapy will definitely be on the agenda, too. American lawyer Brendan J Tully will provide insight into what’s happening with regard to asbestos in talc products; quite a lot, I understand.
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The technical session The technical session will focus on topics like Swedish denaturation of asbestos cement (Rikard Högberg); detecting asbestos on the spot in real-time (Loretta King and Mark Wilkes); and encapsulation of asbestos fibres (Eva-Johanna Herrlich, from France). Gary Pharo will present on the new ISO standards in relation to diversity challenges and respiratory protective equipment. There is only one speaker’s slot left… time enough to fill that one, too. The whole conference will be ‘hybrid’, allowing more interaction and more participation. As last time, there will be a beautiful photo exhibition on asbestos by Tony Rich, globally recognised for his Asbestorama website. Of course, there will be an EAF Recognition Award, a group photo and drinks to round off the conference; and a three-course dinner for those who just can’t bear to go home, and have to enjoy the company of their old and new contacts further. To register For a look at the programme and to register, go to www.europeanasbestosforum.org/ programme2022. If you have any questions, do feel free to contact me at email@example.com. If they relate to the EAF 2023, that’s fine, working on that one already too! Last but not least, it feels sooo good to come together again, after Covid. See you in Amsterdam!
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Getting the most out of occupational hygiene surveys A good occupational hygiene survey should assist you in providing an accurate assessment of exposure to health hazards in your workplace. In order to achieve this, you will also need to make sure that the consultant has all the relevant information they will need to recognise, evaluate and control the risks to health in your workplace. This short guide has been designed to help you plan and design a valuable survey in partnership with a qualified occupational hygienist. It also provides some guidance on the next steps you should consider following the survey.
STEP 1 Identify the hazard(s) •
Document the hazard, who has raised it and discuss with workforce, supervisors, site EHS, any other stakeholders (e.g. subcontractors, shared site tenants etc.). Include details of perceived exposures and concerns, known/suspected sources, peak exposure times and events, which shifts affected (including start and finish times), job roles
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affected, current controls in place including any procedures, training. At this stage, the stakeholder may have useful suggestions for improved controls. Where possible, review any relevant material safety data sheets (MSDS) and/ or any previous surveys associated with this hazard for pertinent information. Document/record details of initial discussion and information gathering.
STEP 3 Survey day – on site •
STEP 2 Plan and design in cooperation with Occupational Hygienist •
Where further investigation is deemed necessary, a suitable site representative should share documents with an occupational hygienist who can assist in survey design and scope and propose an exposure monitoring regime deemed to be a good representation(s) of the activity/hazard of concern. This may also involve presite meeting or calls. Consult the relevant stakeholders again regarding the proposed exposure monitoring survey and adjust the scope if required after discussions.
Agree date(s) and times for exposure monitoring visits to be carried out. When all in agreement that hazards can be effectively assessed, schedule an appropriate site representative to be present during the occupational hygienist’s visits (someone who has been involved in the initial planning phases and is invested in the quality of the assessments). Individuals to be monitored can also be specified and informed at this stage. One or two days prior to agreed visit date(s), the Occupational Hygienist (OH) will confirm with the site contact that all measures are in place to facilitate the survey as per scoping phase. OH will provide RAMS for visit.
On arrival at site, the occupational hygienist will complete relevant inductions, permit to work (PTW) and liaise with site representatives, relevant stakeholders and any individuals to be monitored. During monitoring, OH should be provided access to suitably observe work processes/practices and current control effectiveness. They should be allowed to record details of any discussions with operatives which may be included in report. Exclusions/deviations from planned scope will be recorded. Prior to leaving site, OH will provide summary of immediate risks, initial findings and proposed controls. Any exclusions from monitoring scope will also be communicated.
STEP 4 Review the report •
Approximately 20 working days (this will vary per report), OH will prepare and submit report of monitoring survey to requested recipients. This will include observations of activities, comments from site operatives, results and assessment of exposure/ controls. The report will also outline recommendations for further controls. Recipient should review report and respond to OH if any amendments are required.
asbestos hub magazine | 31
Discuss, identify and implement actions •
The report recipient should discuss, propose and agree actions with all stakeholders at the site based on report findings, recommendations and feedback. Implement your agreed actions designed to prevent or control exposures.
STEP 6 Evaluate – Was this successful? •
At this stage, a lot of time, effort and potentially money has been invested into this process, but how can we demonstrate a positive outcome?
Effectiveness reviews – Discuss and record: • •
Continual improvement should be your aim: regularly review/audit your actions and controls and audit the stakeholder’s adoption of agreed actions or controls.
Questions for your reviews: • Is there adequate enforcement of implemented actions? • Is the maintenance of controls adequate and recorded? • Have there been any changes to process/ work practices, additional activities? • Are new staff aware/ trained at induction stage? • Is staff refresher training/ required?
How can SOCOTEC help? SOCOTEC’s Occupational Hygiene team provides expertise to prevent ill health caused by the working environment, supporting employers to understand, minimise and eliminate these risks. The team also offers clients the assurance and peace of mind that will enable them to remain compliant with a broad range of related legislation and regulatory guidance. Want to find out how your rail organisation could benefit from SOCOTEC’s occupational hygiene services? Get in touch via www.socotec.co.uk/ contact-us
Keep detailed records regarding this process (steps 1-7) and use this to inform and plan any further monitoring, evaluation of controls and continual improvement of exposure to health hazards in your workplace.
Has the risk been reduced to a residual level? Can we quantify a significant reduction in exposure and is further monitoring/sampling required to demonstrate this? Do all involved parties feel risk has been sufficiently reduced and the actions/ controls deemed suitable? Can exposure be reduced further still and is further action required? For a given hazard, unless With asbestos an ever-present health and safety risk for many organisations, it is vital that employees who it has been removed may encounter the fibrous mineral are aware of the identification procedures and appropriate courses of completely, it is likely that action in the event of discovering and, in some cases, disturbing asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). exposure to this hazard SOCOTEC’s online shop offers a selection of UKATAcan be further reduced. accredited courses to ensure that your organisation remains The outcome of this compliant in the critical areas of asbestos management, including: process should directly inform the next stage. › Asbestos Awareness Training Course (in-house, half day)
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32 | asbestos magazine WHYhub CHOOSE SOCOTEC?
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Asbestos risk in disaster emergency response By Brett Millward Managing Director of IE-365
It is estimated that worldwide each year about 125 million people are exposed to asbestos worldwide and that asbestos diseases are responsible for more than 100,000 deaths. In many developed countries, asbestos has been banned for some years but there is a misconception that it is banned worldwide. In reality asbestos is still mined and used widely in many developing lands, particularly in Asia.
But even in those countries that have now banned it, asbestos has been used extensively for decades in building materials among other things. It was often used to strengthen materials but it is also used to prevent fire or for heat insulation. In the United Kingdom alone more than 1.5 million buildings may contain legacy asbestos. Asbestos can perform a useful function in buildings, however, when asbestos is damaged or disturbed it easily releases microscopic fibres, which when inhaled can cause lung disease and cancers, such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. Asbestos is the leading cause of work-related deaths in the world. In last few decades there has been, according to some reports, a tenfold increase in natural disasters worldwide. Many of these natural disasters, such as floods, storms and earthquakes cause extensive damage to buildings and infrastructure. Added to this consider disasters resulting from the use of missiles and artillery in warfare, building fires, terrorism or other causes that lead to similar damage to
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buildings and infrastructure on varying scales. The damage in such circumstances undoubtedly leads to massive amounts of asbestos fibre release and this can be a ‘hidden’ risk which was not anticipated or planned for. While it has to be said that the immediate risk to life at such times is paramount and of primary concern, the frantic search for survivors or possessions often creates risks from asbestos to first responders, victims, volunteers and local residents that should not be ignored. The risks aren’t limited to the time of the disaster either, but can increase over time as the search continues through debris and buildings. And storms and floods can carry asbestos containing materials to other areas or contaminate soil and water leaving a ‘long tail’ risk. Examples of such incidents would include Hurricane Katrina and the collapse of the World Trade Centre, both of which are expected to lead to a rise in mesothelioma deaths in the now very near future. But even closer to home the collapse of the pier at Colwyn Bay created fears of asbestos exposure locally.
How can these risks be reduced? As the immediate risk of a disaster requires a time critical response the training, methods and resources to mitigate the risk from asbestos must be in place in advance. So preparation is an absolute key part of the process, clear procedures should be in place well in advance of any disaster. Let’s look at four potential areas where the risks are at their highest during a disaster and briefly outline how we can better control the risk. Those areas would be emergency response during search and rescue; the clean-up operation following a disaster; disposal of asbestos debris and finally reconstruction. Emergency response: During the initial response to a disaster, first responders and local volunteers may be exposed to airborne asbestos fibres from the damaged buildings and may then find themselves having to dig through debris to search for the injured and trapped. This may continue for many days following the disaster and could lead to repeated exposures to asbestos. First responders should have be trained to a high standard in asbestos awareness and control measures prior to any disaster and adequate Personal Protective Equipment including suitable respirators should be available and worn during the response. Improving asbestos awareness among communities liable to disasters has also been identified as a key way to protect volunteers especially those ‘spontaneous’ volunteers and affected residents. Clean-up work: Following the disaster those tasked with the ‘clean-up’ may
be faced with large spoil heaps of building materials and other debris that is contaminated with asbestos. It may be impossible to do a thorough inspection for asbestos prior to work starting. Therefore, a ‘watching brief’ by someone competent in identifying asbestos containing materials needs to be undertaken throughout the process. Where sampling of materials is not practical, then suspect materials should be presumed to contain asbestos. Again as the local community may get involved in such work a level of asbestos training should be undertaken to prevent asbestos material being moved or even broken up ‘gung ho’ albeit with good intentions by local volunteers. During the clean-up work, the work area should be controlled, segregated and kept wet (where practical) to suppress any dust. Those within the work area should wear suitable protective equipment including FFP3, P100 or N100 masks. Asbestos materials should only be handled by those who are qualified to do such work. If the work takes place in a country where there aren’t any available qualified contractors, then training should be given to those involved in the clean-up, as part of disaster preparedness training prior to the work starting. Disposal of asbestos debris: In many countries, disposal of asbestos may be regulated by government authorities but in developing countries safe disposal of asbestos can be challenging. If asbestos is disposed of on an unsuitable site, it can lead to exposure of workers, local residents and possibly others accessing the site. Wherever
asbestos is disposed of, the site should be secure and stable and the asbestos must be unable to contaminate water sources or soils. There is evidence in many situations there is an exponential increase in risks posed by removed asbestos the further it needs to travel to a disposal site. Admittedly there are no easy answers in this regard in many lands but good planning again is a key principle in mitigating the risk. Reconstruction: In countries where asbestos building products, particularly asbestos cement, are still available to purchase, there can be a temptation to re-use them, either to provide temporary shelter or in permanent construction. However, this should be avoided for obvious reasons. The challenges of course vary from country to country and sadly in many cases those countries prone to large scale disasters may have the least funds and provisions in place to mitigate the risks. But advance preparation is the key if we are to prevent one disaster now leading to a further disaster a couple of decades later. This article is not intended to be a comprehensive discussion of the risks of asbestos following a disaster or how to control them, but merely to highlight the risks posed by asbestos worldwide or even closer to home. IE-365 can now offer bespoke training courses for first responders and clean-up crews around the world. Available courses include Asbestos awareness for disaster relief workers; Lower risk work with asbestos for disaster relief workers; and Managing asbestos during disaster relief. For more information please contact me at email@example.com.
asbestos hub magazine | 35
With the dangers of asbestos now common knowledge, it’s hard to imagine a time when it was a central part of commercial product manufacturing worldwide. But the uses of asbestos weren’t limited to just building and construction. Before its dangers were widely known, asbestos found its way into Christmas decorations, jewellery, and even clothing. Why asbestos? The answer is simple. The material was cheap and durable, and acted as a natural insulator and fireproofing agent. Back in the day, asbestos was the go-to material, the affordable choice, the manufacturer’s dream. So rampant was the asbestos craze, it’s estimated that the material has been used for more than 3,000 applications across the globe. And up until the mid 1980s, Australia was one of the countries with the highest users-per-capita rate in the world. Between 1930 and 1983, more than 1.5 million tonnes of asbestos were imported onto our shores, on top of the asbestos that we were already mining ourselves. We were asbestos addicted, and now many are paying the price. Thankfully, times have changed. To show how far we’ve come, here are seven products that you won’t believe were once made from asbestos.
Asbestos dangers from the past 1
Asbestos in clothing
Due to its small and fibrous nature, raw asbestos was once spun and woven into textile clothing and garments. The fireproof nature of asbestos garments made them ideal for use as protective clothing, such as uniforms for fire fighters, or jumpsuits designed for aviators flying aircraft likely to crash and burn. It was believed that if you were wearing asbestos, you were indestructible. As a result, factory workers often wore asbestos garments like coats, gloves and aprons, to protect themselves from extreme temperatures. Little did they know, their “protective” clothing emitted airborne fibres, exposing them to dangers of asbestos inhalation. Not unlike scrunchies, it’s a trend the world has thankfully left behind.
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Asbestos in rope and string
Asbestos rope was an insulation material used to seal and protect boilers, pipes and heaters from fires. Asbestos string was composed of chrysotile and crocidolite, and was used in windings on welding electrodes and as thread for sewing together various textile products. Since the days of its use, contractors, boilermakers, pipefitters and other workers have been exposed to asbestos in rope and string, in some cases contributing to a diagnosis of mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancers. How long is a piece of asbestos string? You don’t want to know.
Asbestos in stove mats
Stove mats were protective devices designed to be placed over the top of a hot burner in order to prevent damage to pots and pans from hot stoves. They consisted of an asbestos cloth or canvas applied over a rigid material, often with an aluminium edge. The rigid material was often asbestos millboard, so stove mats were essentially made from asbestos wrapped around asbestos. These mats usually remained intact, but wear and tear could release asbestos fibres into the air.
Asbestos in irons
The asbestos iron pictured above is a vintage household appliance, where asbestos was used inside the “hood” or cover that fitted over its heated “core”. The iron held the heat that was then channeled through the steel surface, before it pressed the clothing smooth. Vintage irons were generally made from chrysotile asbestos. They put homemakers and their families at risk of exposure, as well as laundry workers. New intact irons posed few dangers, but wear and tear could make the asbestos friable, increasing the likelihood of fibres becoming airborne.
Asbestos in wicking
Wicking is used for a variety of purposes, most famously to light candles, lanterns and stoves. Making wick from asbestos meant that the product could withstand extreme
Asbestos in hairdryers
If you thought drying your hair was safe, maybe think again. Older hair dryers have been proven to contain asbestos insulation, and it’s even possible that some cheap overseas-made hair dryers still use asbestos. Unsurprisingly, the material was used because the device’s heating element was a fire hazard. Asbestos was a cheap and easily-available flame retardant, used in countless household and industrial products. So if you see an attractivelooking “vintage” hairdryer on sale at a secondhand market, think twice. Sometimes vintage style isn’t worth the risk.
temperatures, and could even resist and help contain the spread of fire. Unfortunately though, it couldn’t maintain good health—the wicking was highly poisonous. The toxins that were contained in even the smallest particles were enough to make a grown man extremely unwell.
All images for this article obtained from Tony Rich Asbestos Hunter.
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Asbestos in fake snow
Many films shot in the early twentieth century, including the likes of The Wizard of Oz, featured their actors being sprinkled with fake snow. Little do viewers realise, this effect was created by showering performers with chrysotile asbestos fibres, small snow-like particles that were once used on movie sets, in department store displays and even in private homes. Everybody wanted to get in on the fake asbestos snow action. And why not? From the mid-1930s to the 1950s, asbestos was seen as a versatile and harmless substance. To date, it’s difficult to know the hazard that was presented
by asbestos-based fake snow products. Most asbestos products involved some quantity of the fibre being used as part of a chemical compound that bound the fibres together, making them difficult to inhale until the material was damaged. But fake snow, often used in displays or in family homes, was simply pure white asbestos fibre piled up in drifts. Anyone who had any contact was inhaling
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deadly fibres in quantities normally associated with those working in asbestos mines. Thankfully, you can safely shop for fake snow next Christmas knowing you won’t be exposed to asbestos… but spare a thought for the innocent workers and householders of the past, many of whom are still living with the consequences of the 20th century’s addiction to asbestos.
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Set 40 year deadline for nondomestic building asbestos removal, MPs say •
Asbestos-related illness ‘one of the great workplace tragedies of modern times’ with thousands of deaths each year, Increase in retrofitting in response to net zero means more asbestos-containing materials will be disturbed in coming decades – crossgovernment approach is needed, More funding for HSE to boost enforcement activity.
The report from the Work and Pensions Committee highlights how despite being banned more than two decades ago, asbestos persists as the single greatest cause of workrelated fatalities in the UK. There were more than 5,000 deaths in 2019, including from cancers such as mesothelioma. Many of these deaths will relate to exposures from 35 or more years ago. The available evidence indicates that cumulative exposures are much lower now for younger age groups but more data is needed to understand the current picture. With asbestos still in around 300,000 non-domestic buildings and a likely dramatic increase in disturbance from net zero retrofitting, the committee says that reliance on the current asbestos regulations will not be good enough. It concludes that a crossgovernment and ‘system-wide’ strategy for the long-term removal of asbestos is needed. The report calls for the government and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to back their stated goal of removing all asbestos by committing to a clear time frame and strategy. The plan should
strengthen the evidence base on safe and effective asbestos removal, before prioritising removal from the highest risk settings. The government must also ensure adequate funding for HSE’s inspection and enforcement of the current asbestos regulations, which has declined in recent years.
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Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said: “Asbestos is one of the great workplace tragedies of modern times and while the extreme exposures of the late twentieth century are behind us, the risk from asbestos remains real. The drive towards retrofitting
The government must commit to a strategy to remove all asbestos from public and commercial buildings within 40 years, MPs say, with the risk to health only likely to increase as buildings are adapted with the move to net zero
Main findings and recommendations The asbestos risk today • While there is evidence that extreme exposures of the 20th century are behind us, HSE is not doing enough to assess current risk in non-domestic buildings. The Committee heard accounts of recent exposures in the workplace and beyond. HSE should adopt a more structured approach to collecting data on current exposure levels. Strategic approach to asbestos management • HSE has been slow to invest in research into costs and benefits of removal, and to evaluate options for its safe removal. • Deadline should now be set for removal of asbestos from non-domestic buildings within 40 years. A new strategic plan should focus on the highest risk asbestos first and the highest risk settings including schools. • This plan should, in the first instance, commit to improving urgently the evidence around safer asbestos removal and disposal, considering relative costs and benefits.
of buildings to meet net zero aspirations means the risk of asbestos exposure will only escalate in the coming decades. Falling back on regulations which devolve responsibility to individual building owners and maintenance managers will not be sufficient to protect people’s health.
Setting a clear deadline of 40 years for the removal of asbestos from non-domestic buildings will help to focus minds. The clock is ticking and the government and HSE must now come up with a strategic plan which builds the evidence on safer removal and prioritises higher risk settings such as schools."
HSE’s enforcement and campaigning • HSE issued 60% fewer asbestos enforcement notices annually between 2011/12 and 2018/19. The scale of decline is remarkable when compared with HSE's enforcement activity overall, despite no specific and compelling evidence that compliance with the asbestos regulations has improved dramatically during this time. • HSE should commit to a sustained increase in inspection and enforcement activity. The Committee repeats its recommendation from June 2020, that the Government should ensure adequate funding for this increased programme of work.
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Global Asbestos Awareness Week: Asbestos monitoring has the power to save lives, but it’s vital that we maximise accuracy and minimise risks Asbestos-related diseases take the lives of 20 tradespeople every week. Left alone, the material is not harmful, but once disturbed or disintegrating, it can release asbestos fibres that infiltrate and progressively damage the lungs. The damage results in multiple health defects, such as the lung disease mesothelioma — a cancer that can take up to 20 years to develop, proving fatal within five years or less. Despite being banned in the UK, asbestos can still be found in older homes and industrial properties built between the 1950s and 70s, posing a threat to anyone who disturbs the dangerous material. Global Asbestos Awareness Week (GAAW) aims to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos, bringing experts and those affected together to share, learn and act. Understanding how to maximise asbestos monitoring accuracy and minimise risks can help to save lives.
Tim Turney, Global Marketing Manager at occupational hygiene and workplace hazard monitoring expert Casella, shares best practice advice on asbestos monitoring
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Training and licencing requirements must be met Discrepancies in sampling and analysis procedures, limitations in personal protective clothing and insufficient cleaning before a clearance pass can hinder accuracy and increase risks. Whenever asbestos is removed, it is a legal requirement to use licenced contractors and to ensure that strict regulations and guidance are followed to limit the potential release of dangerous, airborne
fibres. The guidance typically includes personal air sampling and/or static air sampling, to ensure that there is no exposure during remediation work or during the cleaning and clearance processes at a removal site. In the UK, a four-stage clearance process is used, involving a preliminary check of the site condition and job completeness, a thorough visual inspection inside the enclosure or work area, air monitoring and a final assessment of the post-enclosure or work area following dismantling. Licenced contractors may also take air samples before work is undertaken to establish a background level measurement. Conducting a test before disturbing any materials could save thousands of pounds on decontamination and environmental cleaning fees and help to avoid exposure. Additionally, trained professionals may take air samples during work on or near asbestos to confirm that there is no leakage from the enclosure. Equipment must be selected, used and maintained correctly Air sampling pumps should be used for at least one hour after ensuring that equipment meets the relevant standard(s) and has the required flow-range capability, for example, at 12 L/min the required 480 L sample can be completed in 40 minutes. Modern pumps can do timed or volumebased runs to achieve better result accuracy. However, reading the manufacturer’s handbook thoroughly before using the equipment can ensure correct use and allow for optimal feature use. Ensuring air sampling equipment has an accurate flow rate to ensure flow is stable over the measurement will prevent measurements having to be repeated. Additionally, selecting an air sampling pump that has a good Ingress Protection (IP) rating will allow for easier decontamination, a process nearly as important as removing asbestos correctly in the first place. Asbestos does not only pose a
threat to trade workers, but those they encounter, should invisible yet lethal asbestos particles stick to their personal protective equipment and tools. Following stringent cleaning regimes can protect workers and their colleagues, family, and friends. All equipment must be thoroughly decontaminated to ensure there is no subsequent exposure or spread of asbestos. Choosing a high flow pump with a smooth body finish, free from small crevices, will allow for safer decontamination and cleaning. Modern air sampling pumps can also be monitored remotely with Bluetooth via a mobile app to check the sampling status, saving time checking pumps.
Basic awareness training is not enough Asbestos monitoring has the power to save lives, but only when carried out correctly. Basic awareness training is not enough. Additional consultancy and training should always be acquired before carrying out asbestos removal to achieve the required level of competence and help keep more workers safe. Tim Turney is Global Marketing Manager at Casella and graduated as an engineer from Queen Mary and Westfield in London. Since starting at Casella in 1998, Tim has been involved in the acoustics and air sampling industry, specialising in measurement and instrumentation technologies.
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Asbestos – Best types suited for in-place management George C Keefe The three options for dealing with asbestos are removal, do nothing and the more practical, widely accepted method of in-place management. I’ll be examining the option of in-place management which is often the best choice for many projects. I’m writing about where asbestos containing materials may be best controlled and safely managed long term over costly removal and replacement. Where it is the most beneficial to simply and safely in-place manage this wide spread, potential common hazard. Where that method makes the
most practical, level headed and financial sense – protecting people and planet while saving money, time and natural resources. Managing asbestos is easier than most people think, especially if you don’t necessarily have to remove it. Meaning that there may not be local laws requiring you to remove it and you can safely coexist while actually continue to benefit from it. I’m going to concentrate on where it is the greatest benefit to safely manage certain asbestos containing materials in buildings instead of the high cost of removing and replacing it. Keep in mind that every individual and companies circumstances are different and their separate situations and choices always need to be evaluated on a case by case basis. Asbestos containing materials were and still are widely used throughout the world. They are present in over 2,000 products and there are several situations that in place management would not be practical or even possible. That being said, on the flip side there are many situations that are a perfect fit and do greatly benefit from the acceptable, safe in-place management with the right products.
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In-place management for larger surfaces makes the most practical sense since they are the ones that are the most costly and troublesome to remove and replace. This is especially true where that disruptive and invasive removal process has indirect consequences such as building downtime and profitable production loss along with the costly relocation fees for personal and contents while that disturbing work is performed. This also includes replacing the removed materials. The two largest surfaces areas throughout the world that benefit most from in-place management of asbestos containing materials are spray-on fireproofing protecting structural steel and wall and roof panels The first is spray-on fireproofing that covers structural steel beams and associated decking. This is extremely prevalent and used throughout the world. It protects structural steel and is found in high
rise buildings and skyscrapers. It shields all the structural steel and often covers the decking in between that structural steel. It is protecting that essential structural steel for two main reasons. The first and foremost is to give people more time to safely evacuate a building in a fire then if that steel was unprotected and more susceptible to quicker breakdown and total collapse. The second reason and also extremely important is that the most expensive and significant part of a high rise building is the vital structural steel. If that is protected during a high heat fire event and doesn’t melt or tweak it can be saved and reused. Meaning that after a fire you can go back in, remove any debris off the steel and retack new components to the preserved steel. This saves significant cost, time and precious natural resources over removal and replacement. The second largest area where safely managing asbestos can be extremely beneficial vs costly and disruptive removal and replacement is with asbestos containing wall, roof and ceiling panels. These panels were and still are extensively produced and expansively used on a worldwide scale. In widespread use are hundreds of millions of sq. ft/metres of asbestos containing concrete wall and roof panels. They are found in every country and can pose the greatest risk. They are often panels that are used to cover a structure and become the surface for both the interior and exterior -
facing both a buildings inside and outside. One panel can be both the interior ceiling and exterior roof. These common asbestos containing panels continue to be produced and used because they are cheap to fabricate and easily installed. They have great structural strength and insulation qualities. They are highly resistant to abuse, fire and chemicals while
also being able to hold up long term. Being sustainable they can withstand the test of time, including against all types of severe weather events. The only drawback which is quite serious is that over time they can continue to release harmful asbestos fibre into their surroundings. Unnecessarily exposing people to that dangerous
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and harmful fibre. I emphasise unnecessary exposure because the simple, sane and widely acceptable quick fix is to easily encase those materials with a green coating encasement system. This practical, sustainable and renewable fix can have added benefits of waterproofing and fortifying the surfaces they are covering, while also turning them solar reflective, providing passive cooling, saving both energy and money. All wall surfaces whether interior or exterior built with these asbestos containing panels can greatly benefit from the simple in place management fix with the right coating system. Although roofing is the main surface that can realise many more added benefits. Often a leaking roof that is constructed with these asbestos containing materials can be sealed and waterproofed while at the same time preventing the release of harmful asbestos fibres. Frequently it’s wrongly recommended that those materials must be removed and replaced. This causes the harmful and unnecessary generation, transportation and continued storage of that costly hazardous waste. In addition numerous times the replacement products in several ways are inferior to the original materials. Instead of removal and replacing you can quickly, simply and safely seal over that leaking surface with the right green coating encasement system. This can instantly halt the potential release of asbestos, immediately stopping any water leaks and turn a dark roof into a solar reflective surface contributing to the passive cooling of the building interior. All with the single application of the right simple green coating encasement system. So these wide ranging, enormous surfaces of asbestos containing materials – sprayed on fireproofing, wall and roof panels are the largest
surfaces throughout the world that greatly benefit from this simple technique of installing a sustainable, green coating encasement system. Quickly and safely sealing them in place while instantly stopping the possible release of the dangerous fibre. They can make the most practical and economical sense when evaluating best practice for individual circumstances. First taking into consideration all the factors, such as the high cost of removal and replacement, the generation, transportation and storage of hazardous waste, the investment of money and natural resources for the replacement materials, the time – duration of the project that can trigger indirect costs of building, production downtime and relocation fees for people and contents and once that evaluation is complete with a proper assessment of all the aspects to be considered – only then a logical decision should be made. In many of the worldwide situations I’ve personally encountered with these two prevalent asbestos containing materials the logical and widely acceptable choice has been to safely seal and securely manage them in place. Continuing to realise some of the benefits of those materials while at the same time stopping the potentially dangerous fibre release can make perfect sense. In addition also immediately realising several of the added benefits of installing the right green coating encasement system while safely sealing in those materials. In general terms of dealing with asbestos containing materials I’ve come a crossed numerous situations where management in place was the superior and the preferred option over the more costly full blown removal and replacement. So in closing, it always goes back to a case by case decision on what is the right course of action for any individual project or situation and again always taking into account all circumstances, financial and personal.
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