Asbestos could be in any house or building. Left alone, it isn’t dangerous.

However, once disturbed, tiny asbestos fibres are released which can prove lethal if breathed in, causing lung disease or cancer.

A Health and Safety Executive survey showed that tradespeople such as joiners and other construction workers could come into contact with deadly asbestos on average more than 100 times a year.

Asbestos can be found in walls, ceilings, floor tiles, boilers, cisterns, guttering, soffits and a host of other places.

Dangerous if disturbed

Basic maintenance work like drilling holes and sanding can release fibres which can be breathed in.

Simple ways to protect yourself

You should take precautions on even small jobs.

Think about the asbestos risk on every job;

  • All business premises and public buildings should have a plan showing any asbestos in the building. Ask to see it if you’re asked to work on a building;
  • If possible, plan the job to avoid disturbing any asbestos;
  • if it has to be disturbed, don’t start work until you have double-checked how to do it safely and that you have the right information and training.