New research shows asbestos mostly to blame for the deaths of nearly 4,000 construction workers a year

The study was funded by the Health and Safety Executive and published in The British Journal of Cancer in June 2012.

Last Updated on May 11, 2021 by

New research has shown that asbestos is mostly to blame for deaths in the construction industry, but diesel exhaust and other carcinogens such as silica are also significant factors. In addition, skin cancer was also found to be an issue.

The study was funded by the Health & Safety Executive and published in the British Journal of Cancer in June 2012. The study primarily found that found 5% of all cancer deaths in Britain were linked to occupations and that just under half of occupation-related cancer deaths (48%, 3,668 deaths) in Britain were in construction workers. Around 70% of the occupation-related deaths in construction workers were linked to asbestos.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous silicate mineral, used for its strong and incombustible properties. Due to its thermal stability and high heat resistance, this durable material was widely used in the past for the fire proofing and insulation of buildings. Asbestos is no longer allowed due to health risks as it can pollute air or water and thus be inhaled. Loose asbestos fibres when inhaled or swallowed have the potential to cause chronic lung disease including Asbestosis, mesothelioma and cancer.

With these figures in mind it is important to know that Section 10 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 states that ‘Every employer must ensure that any employee employed by that employer is given adequate information, instruction and training where that employee is or is liable to be exposed to asbestos’.

With asbestos inhalation being such a risk to the construction, and many other industries, and the law specifically stating the need for adequate training you must ask yourself if you (and your employees) are Asbestos Aware? We can offer Asbestos Awareness training at a very competitive price, contact the office for further details 0161 761 4424.

Published Sep 03, 2012

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