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5th April 2023

HSE Launches New Asbestos Campaign

Asbestos Health and Safety Risks

What’s Happened?

The HSE has recently launched a new campaign entitled ‘Asbestos and You’ with the aim of reminding those working in construction (and allied) trades to manage the risks associated with asbestos.

Despite the product having been banned within the building industry since 1999, figures show that 5,000 people a year still die from asbestos-related diseases. This is a legacy issue as although the ban has been in effect for over two decades, there remains Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM’s) within millions of homes and commercial buildings constructed or refurbished prior to the ban taking effect.

The Risks

Left alone, Asbestos isn’t dangerous. However, once disturbed, tiny asbestos fibres are released which can prove lethal if breathed in, causing lung disease and cancer.

Those carrying out repairs or refurbishment work are at a higher risk of disturbing asbestos, especially when working in houses.

Builders, carpenters, electricians, joiners, plasterers, plumbers and roofers are just some of the trades being urged by the HSE to take the risks of asbestos seriously.

The campaign also particularly wants to reach those who started their careers from the year 2000, after the use of asbestos was banned, so they know the risk still remains.


Workers must be able to recognise asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) and know what to do if they come across them in order to protect themselves and others.

Asbestos Awareness Training is intended to give delegates information they need to avoid work that may disturb asbestos during any normal work which could disturb the fabric of a building or other item which might contain asbestos.

Awareness training is not intended to prepare workers, or self-employed contractors, to carry out work with asbestos-containing materials. If a worker is planning to carry out work that will disturb ACMs, further information, instruction and training will be needed.

Online learning (often referred to as e–learning) is increasingly used as a method of providing asbestos awareness training. HSE recognises the use of e-learning as a viable delivery method for asbestos awareness training. Lighthouse able to offer Asbestos Awareness training as an E-Learning course.

If you have any further queries regarding Asbestos, don’t hesitate to call our health and safety adviceline on 0300 303 5228.

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