When you consider the things that could cause you harm in your business you probably think of electricity, slips and trips or working at height. This is because they are the obvious ones. They are the ones that will cause an injury very quickly. However, there could be a substance in your business or premises called asbestos which if damaged could cause you to suffer a deadly disease. In fact, asbestos is the single biggest cause of workplace deaths in the UK. Currently about 4000 people per year die of an asbestos related disease in the UK alone.
Asbestos is a substance you have probably heard of. You may have a client, family member or even a member of staff who has been affected by this potentially deadly material.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral which was used extensively as a building material from the 1950’s to the mid-1980s. It was used for a variety of purposes and was ideal for fireproofing and insulation. Any building built before 2000 (houses, factories, offices, schools, salons hospitals etc) may contain asbestos.
As a business owner, manager or staff member you may think that asbestos couldn't pose any kind of threat to you. Unfortunately, you would be wrong. Inhaling damaged asbestos-containing materials could increase your chances of getting an asbestos-related disease.
What Can You Do?
To prevent anyone being harmed from asbestos it is important to ensure that it is not disturbed. The following points should help you along:
Work with the building owner to determine if and where asbestos is present.
Develop a risk assessment and plan to ensure any area where asbestos is, or maybe, present, is marked up. Produce a simple document to record your findings. Ensure any damaged asbestos is repaired, enclosed or removed by an experienced contractor.
Make sure you tell staff about the asbestos in your premises. It could be disturbed when storing products or fixing equipment to walls.
Inform any tradesmen who come to your premises. Asbestos could be damaged during salon refurbishment works.
Having it repaired could mean THE INSTANT CLOSURE OF YOUR PREMISES WHILST THE CLEAN UP WORKS TAKE PLACE.
If you still feel you need help please feel free to get in touch and one of experts will be happy to help.
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