Up until its ban in 1999, asbestos was used widely for its insulating and fire resistant properties - with use in the rail industry no exception. Buildings in the rail sector as well as the train rolling stock were – and continue to be - commonplace for asbestos containing materials.
Cheap, durable and flexible with excellent insulation and fireproofing agents, asbestos was used extensively throughout the 1900s until its ban in 1999. Due to its popularity, asbestos containing materials (ACMs) can still be found in a wide range of locations, including those you may not even think of.
With extensive experience, our asbestos surveyors know that the locations of asbestos are not always in the obvious places. In our second blog on the subject, Sebastian Lawniczak, project manager for asbestos, identifies some of the hidden locations of asbestos that he has come across.
With the HSE estimating that at least 5,000 people die every year from an asbestos-related cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibres at work, raising awareness about asbestos exposure is still – if not more - as important now as ever before.
IOSH’s campaign aims to encourage organisations to:
- better understand the risks
- demonstrate good practice
- commit to introducing new policies and practices to manage the risks associated with carcinogens at work.
With this in mind, there were a number of key messages raised in the ORR’s health programme update to help rail and road users. Our asbestos technical manager, Denis Morgan, has provided further guidance to help your understanding of how best to manage asbestos. There really is no time to lose.
The ports and docks of Great Britain have always been an important entry point for the materials and products that helped to build the country. Since 1940, it was through these docks and ports that saw the import of over 5,000,000 tonnes of raw asbestos fibre into the country.
Today there are stringent standards that building materials have to comply with in order for them to enter the construction supply chain. However, whilst the dangers associated with the inhalation of asbestos fibres have been known for many years, asbestos wasn't finally banned completely in the UK until 1999, meaning that the substance remains in significant quantities within many of Britain's buildings. Here James Dodgson, commercial director for Asbestos at SOCOTEC, discusses the importance of asbestos management within the UK's education sector.
When it comes to asbestos, roofing and insulation materials tend to be the first things that come to mind. However, not everyone is so aware of the other common materials that may contain asbestos; the HSE list a few examples, such as sprayed coatings, flooring, and textured coatings – all of which pose a health risk if disturbed without suitable precautions.
Before its total ban in November 1999, asbestos was used widely because of its properties as a thermal insulator, its strength, fire resistance and its chemical resistance.
As a provider of asbestos management and consultancy services, our asbestos surveyors have discovered asbestos in a number of locations and, with years of experience, are tuned in to the typical finds as well as the hidden uses of asbestos across many different functions.
Until the late 1970s, asbestos was a commonly used building material and, despite its use declining until a total ban was implemented in 1999, its legacy lives on in over 5.5 million buildings in the UK. This can bring a number of challenges when it comes to building demolition, due to the health and safety hazards involved in managing asbestos and asbestos containing materials (ACMs). It is crucial to establish the extent of such substances prior to carrying out any refurbishment or demolition work on a building.
Despite being banned in 1999, asbestos is still widespread across the UK built environment. Asbestos containing materials (ACMs), such as old ceiling tiles, plasterboard and wall insulation, may still be present in buildings - particularly those built before the late 1970s. Meanwhile, traces of the substance may be found in remnants of paints and other coatings after the original ACM has been removed, or even in soils after the building has been demolished.
At its very peak in 1973, 183,000 tonnes of asbestos were imported into the UK. However, while we commonly associate the use of asbestos with building materials in the 20th Century, we can actually trace its use back to 3000 BC, when asbestos cloth was used to protect the embalmed bodies of Egyptian Pharaohs.
Denis Morgan, divisional technical manager – asbestos, Built Environment Services, SOCOTEC, tells us all about his role in asbestos management.