Canada’s asbestos mining industry grinds to halt amid asbestos risk protests

Like the Canadian people, Armco Asbestos Consultants are fully aware of the risks of asbestos and assist companies in protecting staff and customers from asbestos in line with regulations.

 

Canada’s once expansive asbestos industry has stopped mining the fibre in both their mines for the first time in 130 years, amid noisy political debates and an anti-asbestos news conference on Thursday on Parliament Hill, Canada. Advocates of the industry insist it’s too early to disregard the Canadian asbestos sector for good and hope to start mining again as early as spring 2012. The mines are still exporting stockpiled asbestos but it is thought that these supplies will run out in the coming weeks and Canadian asbestos will disappear from the international market.

Over the past two decades, Canada has spent millions stripping asbestos from public buildings like school and hospitals. The national outcry against asbestos has led to some government restrictions on its use and production. Yet while the government has put effort into eradicating asbestos use at home, it’s put even more into boosting its use abroad. This included £575, 000 of government funds being spent appealing France’s 1997 asbestos ban and organizing a coalition of countries, including India, Peru and the Ukraine, whose regulations on asbestos are limited or even non-existent.

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that has been used commonly in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a fire-retardant. Because of its fiber strength and heat resistant properties, asbestos has been used for a wide range of manufactured goods until it was discovered that when asbestos-containing materials are damaged or disturbed by repair, remodeling or demolition activities, microscopic fibers become airborne. When these fibres are inhaled they can cause serious diseases which are responsible for around 4000 deaths a year. There are four main diseases caused by asbestos: mesothelioma (which is always fatal), lung cancer (almost always fatal), asbestosis (not always fatal, but it can be very debilitating) and diffuse pleural thickening (not fatal).

Currently, asbestos is recognized as a carcinogen and is banned in all 27 European Union member countries, Australia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Chile and Japan.  And here at Armco Asbestos Consultants were are fully aware of the risks of asbestos and dedicated to assisting companies to ensure they are protecting staff and customers, and operating within the asbestos Health and Safety laws.

Armco offers half day Asbestos Awareness Courses where attendees learn about the history of asbestos; what asbestos looks like; the properties of asbestos and its effects on health; who is at risk; the types, uses and likely occurrence of asbestos in buildings and plant; and the general procedures to be followed to deal with an emergency.

The Works With Non-Licensed ACM’s Training is made up of the Asbestos Awareness ½ day session in the morning and followed by an afternoon session of working with ACM’s. Point covered include how to make suitable and sufficient assessments of the risk of exposure to asbestos; the control limit, the appropriate choice and use of respiratory and personal protective equipment, decontamination procedures, work which requires an HSE license, emergency procedures and waste handling procedures. Once an employee is trained to this standard they would be considered a competent contractor and therefore could undertake remedial works with non-licensed materials, thus saving your company money as no sub-contractors would need to be brought in for such works.

Armco’s training sessions are held by fully qualified and time-served surveyors/removers whom deliver the class as an oral presentation with power point slides and written material. The candidates are presented with a certificate which lasts a year and Armco also provides the necessary yearly refresher training session. 

As well as various types of Asbestos Training, Armco Asbestos Consultants offers face fitting for respiratory protective equipment (RPE). The use of facepieces/masks is a valuable tool in safeguarding again the inhalation of potentially harmful substances.  Face fit testing is a method for checking that a tight fitting facepiece matches the wearer’s facial features and seals adequately to the wearer’s face.  An inadequate fit will significantly reduce the protection provided to the wearer, even though the user is wearing a respirator correctly selected for the given application. All wearers of tight fitting facepieces should be tested to ensure that their masks fit their face profiles.

So whatever your asbestos needs, whether it be training, consultancy, surveys or removals, please contact the office for a competitive quote on 0161 763 3727 or email info@armco.org.uk

 

Published Nov 30, 2011
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