British Lung Foundation Campaign - 'Take 5 and stay alive'

Asbestos is the biggest on the job killer of trades people in the UK. Each week on average it kills 20 tradesmen, including 4 plumbers, 6 electricians and 8 joiners. Don't dismiss it as a thing of the past… it's still a very real and dangerous threat.

The British Lung Foundation has identified 5 steps for tradesmen to follow to give them the tools to act responsibly, help them identify asbestos wherever and in whatever form it might be present, and know how to deal with it safely. Taking just five minutes to assess the situation could save lives."

Action Mesothelioma Day 2010

2 July 2010

Mesothelioma is an incurable cancer. The great majority of cases will be due to exposure to asbestos

The British Lung Foundation campaigns to raise awareness of mesothelioma and to improve the treatment and care of people who are affected by it. This campaigning culminates each year on Action Mesothelioma Day (2 July)

Raising awareness of the risks of asbestos amongst tradesmen - those most likely to be exposed to it - is something HSE has campaigned on for several years.

Said Chair of HSE, Judith Hackitt,

"HSE welcomes action to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos and that is why, on Action Mesothelioma Day, we are supporting the British Lung Foundation's call for people to 'be asbestos aware'.

"Asbestos is not a problem of the past. It could be present in any building built or refurbished before the year 2000. In good condition, undisturbed and properly managed, asbestos does not pose a significant health risk. Those most at risk are tradesmen such as joiners, electricians and plumbers who routinely disturb the fabric of buildings as part of their work. Through our 'Hidden Killer' campaign we are working hard to help tradesmen appreciate that they are at risk and advise them on how to protect themselves. It makes eminent sense to also remind householders of the dangers they may encounter when doing DIY work themselves.

"We continue to work with a wide and diverse group of organisations and businesses to ensure asbestos awareness is fundamental to any trade where workers are at risk."

Workers' Memorial Day

28 April 2010

The Asbestos Partnership Team are working together to promote the messages of Workers' Memorial Day - 'Remember the dead; Fight for the living'. Through working in partnership to promote the importance of asbestos awareness, including training and personal protective equipment, many workers at risk of potential exposure to asbestos are now better equipped to protect themselves from this hidden killer.

HSE is also working with partners to target those with a duty to manage asbestos, so workers are made aware of the presence of asbestos when they go on site. Together, we are committed to protecting workers who may work with asbestos-containing materials, and to remembering the workers and their families who have suffered the devastating diagnosis of mesothelioma

Asbestos: The survey guide

Mesothelioma Research Report

One in 17 carpenters born in the 1940s will die of mesothelioma - a cancer of the lining of the lung caused by asbestos - according to new research.

Telephone and interview survey on management of asbestos - Spring 2008

A HSE commissioned research survey by Ipsos -MORI is running this spring. HSE has engaged independent researchers at the Institute of Employment Studies IES, along with Ipsos-MORI to carry out telephone interviews, which may be followed up by face to face interviews. This research will feed into HSE's evaluation of the requirements in the Asbestos Regulations to manage asbestos in non domestic premises. The duty came into force in May 2004 under the 2002 Regulations and is now contained as regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006. All data provided to HSE during this research will be completely anonymised and will not be traced back to any individual or organisations.

If you are contacted it would be very helpful if you could contribute with as much detail as you are able. All data provided to HSE will be completely anonymised, so HSE will not be able to identify anyone who contributed.

Investigation of chrysotile fibres in an asbestos cement sample

The Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) have investigated claims that chrysotile asbestos in asbestos cement products is altered into a non-asbestos fibrous material called Casitile. The claims also suggested that this process is 100% efficient and no chrysotile asbestos remains in the matrix and no release of airborne chrysotile fibres can occur. The HSL investigation refutes these claims and confirms that chrysotile fibres are present in the cement matrix, often as quite large fibre bundles which are clearly visible to the eye and that when asbestos cement is disturbed, chrysotile fibres are released from the cement into the air. A copy of the HSL report can be found via the link below:

Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/2737) came into force on 13 November 2006 and two Approved Codes of Practice providing guidance on complying with the Regulations were published on the same day.

Further guidance on the Regulations can be found at

Local Authorities

Duty to manage asbestos enforcement training aims to provide appropriate knowledge and guidance to enable you to promote increased compliance with Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 (Asbestos Regulations) with your dutyholders. By increasing compliance, we hope to prevent up to 5000 deaths from exposure to asbestos over the next 50 years, and significantly reduce the level of exposure to those working with asbestos in the short term, by the implementation of effective asbestos management plans. These training events in England and Wales form part of the Local Authority Strategic Programme (LASP) and Disease Reduction Programme (DRP).

Asbestos leadership events

Currently there are approximately 750 holders of a licence to carry out work with asbestos. ALU is currently reviewing our strategy in engaging with, and then motivating this industry. One of the principal strands of this review is how we can improve communications.

The purpose of the proposed events is to engage directly with the whole industry at a number of events across Great Britain. At these events, we will describe our view on acceptable standards for the industry, how the individual organisations can only bring about further improvements by strong leadership and robust management systems. This series of events is included in the Disease Reduction Programme.

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Updated 2023-08-08