How Can Mesothelioma Be Prevented In The Workplace?How to mitigate the risk of developing work-related Mesothelioma
How Can Mesothelioma Be Prevented In The Workplace?
As we have seen in previous pages, many cases of Mesothelioma stem from exposure to asbestos over many years, or many years ago. Since the use of Asbestos has been banned there should eventually be fewer cases coming to light over the forthcoming years, however the damage caused by asbestos can take many years before symptoms appear. Alongside that issue, while the use of asbestos has been banned, there is still a huge amount of it within buildings, aeroplanes, ships etc and when it is disturbed the danger is still prevalent.
Education is one of the most powerful tools available for the prevention of Mesothelioma development within workplaces. Ensuring that your workforce understands the dangers associated with asbestos can assist in ensuring it is treated as the dangerous substance that it is, and that any exposure is minimised.
Once employees understand the potential danger, employers have a duty to protect them from further risks. Methods to achieve this can include:
- Air monitoring and suitable record-keeping
- Regular asbestos risk assessments
- Communication of hazards to staff
- Use of proper work practices to minimise risk
- Respiratory protection should be provided to anyone in high risk areas
- Medical surveillance for all workers potentially exposed to asbestos
More specific tips on reducing risk include:
- Ask your employer about any potential risks – they have a duty to inform you
- Never cut, drill or saw or break up any asbestos-containing materials
- Always wear suitable PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
- Ensure all PPE is appropriately maintained and that training for its proper use is given
- Do not go home in clothes or shoes that might have been contaminated with asbestos
- Never sweep, dust or hoover asbestos-containing materials, not even its dust
- Only ever dispose of any asbestos-containing material in accordance with the law
- Never perform any kind of work involving asbestos unless you have been properly trained in how to deal with it safely.
- If you have been exposed to asbestos and are at all concerned about its potential outcome, a simple blood-test can detect Mesothelioma before symptoms appear – ask your doctor how they can help.
Employers have a responsibility to protect the health and welfare of their employees and appropriate asbestos management is an essential part of this. Any employer whose workers are at risk of exposure to asbestos should implement proper training and procedures to minimise the damage it can cause.
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