Am I at risk?
Workers involved in refurbishment, maintenance and other similar trades, could be at risk of exposure to asbestos during their work. This includes:
- Heating and ventilation engineers
- Demolition workers
- Carpenters and joiners
- Roofing contractors
- Painters and decorators
- Construction workers
- Fire and burglar alarm installers
- Shop fitters
- Gas fitters
- Computer and data installers
- General maintenance staff eg caretakers
- Telecommunications engineers
- Architects, building surveyors, and other such professionals
- Cable layers
This list does not include all occupations at risk from potential exposure to asbestos.
When am I most at risk?
You are most at risk when:
- the building you are working on was built before the year 2000
- you are working on an unfamiliar site
- asbestos-containing materials were not identified before the job was started
- asbestos-containing materials were identified but this information was not passed on by the people in charge to the people doing the work
- you haven't done a risk assessment
- you don't know how to recognise and work safely with asbestos
- you have not had appropriate information, instruction and training
- you know how to work safely with asbestos, but you choose to put yourself at risk by not following proper precautions, perhaps to save time or because no one else is following proper procedures
- you can't see or smell asbestos fibres in the air
- the effects of being exposed to asbestos take many years to show up - avoid breathing it in now
- people who smoke and are also exposed to asbestos fibres are at a much greater risk of developing lung cancer
- asbestos is only a danger when fibres are made airborne and breathed in
- as long as the asbestos is in good condition and it is located somewhere where it can't be easily damaged then it shouldn't be a risk to you
Where might you find asbestos?
Some of the places where you may find it can be found in our residential and industrial building diagrams.
The section on 'Managing and working with asbestos' provides further information on working with asbestos.