Asbestos Toolbox Talk

Asbestos Toolbox Talk

Asbestos Toolbox Talk

Why have this talk? Asbestos Toolbox Talk. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral and because of its excellent fire retarding and insulating properties it was widely used in the building industry in the 1980s.

Research has shown that breathing in asbestos fibres may cause lung disease and cancer and it is currently the greatest single cause of work-related deaths in the UK with several thousand people dying each year. The delay between asbestos exposure and disease can range between 10 and 50 years.

What will this talk cover? Where you might find asbestos and how to work around it.

Where might you find asbestos in a building?

  • Sprayed insulation coating on steelwork and concrete
  • Floor tiles and flooring materials
  • Asbestos cement as structural sheets, pipes and tanks
  • Ventilation systems
  • Old fire blankets
  • Lagging on boilers and pipework
  • Insulation boards on interior walls, doors or ceilings
  • Some ceiling tiles.
Notes for delivery
The use of asbestos is now banned but any building that was built before 2000 could have asbestos in it.

As long as the material is not disturbed, workers should not be alarmed. If existing asbestos materials are in good condition, they can be left where they are as long as their condition is regularly checked to ensure they do not become damaged.

Products where the asbestos is bound tightly (eg asbestos cement sheets or flooring tiles) are less hazardous than products such as pipe lagging which easily give off fibres, but all products need careful handling by trained workers.

Working with asbestos

  • Asbestos dust is fine and invisible to the naked eye.
  • Most work with asbestos must be undertaken by a licensed contractor.
  • Asbestos waste is hazardous and must be disposed of correctly by an authorised waste carrier.
  • Stringent precautions are required for any work with asbestos to avoid risks and contamination.
The only way to reliably check if asbestos is present is to have a sample of the material examined in a laboratory. All potential asbestos-containing materials must be treated with caution.

Questions for employees

  • How can you tell if a material contains asbestos?
  • What steps should you take if you think you have come across asbestos?
  • Where will you find details of known asbestos in the building that you work in?
  • Can you give some of examples of where in a building you might find asbestos?

Do you have any questions for me?

Contact us for further information.



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