It was not uncommon for asbestos to be used in production and construction during the 1970’s. Sadly, research after this date has shown the substance to be extremely toxic and dangerous to humans.
As a result, the use of asbestos has now been strictly limited. However, not all environments have managed to completely dispose of the material. This is saddening and unfortunate because exposure to asbestos can result in a rare and deadly form of cancer known as mesothelioma.
Consequently, employers owe a duty of care to their workers and have a responsibility to take reasonable measures to reduce the risk of exposure to asbestos. Outlined below are three steps that employers can take to reduce the risk of asbestos exposure.
Clearly label all known hazards
Where employers become aware of areas containing asbestos, they should ensure that they are clearly marked and identified. Additionally, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should be provided when there is any potential risk of contact.
Offer staff the appropriate training
It is often said that the starting point for safety is to provide proper training. Employers should make sure that staff are aware of the potential dangers of asbestos, as well as what they can do if a colleague is exposed.
Take proactive measures if an employee has been exposed
If a staff member does become exposed to asbestos, there are steps that an employer can take. These include washing exposed parts of the body thoroughly and ensuring no further exposure to hazardous material.
Knowing some methods of preventing exposure to asbestos could be in your best interests. If you have been exposed to asbestos as an employee, there are legal options open to you.