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One In Four Construction Workers Exposed To Asbestos

While the construction industry has made leaps and bounds in work safety, including a focus on safety clothing on the worksite, new research shows that safety in regards to exposure to asbestos still has a long way to go. 

According to a survey by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), 25 per cent of workers in the industry have been exposed to asbestos while working, However, despite being aware of asbestos when working, a concerning 68 per cent were unaware of the impact it could have on their health, including lung disease and even cancer. Workers in London were the most unaware of the dangers, according to the survey of some 500 construction workers.

Even when aware of the dangers of asbestos, 20 per cent were unsure how to proceed when it is discovered - while over 30 per cent did not know that they needed to check the asbestos register on a building before carrying out work.

UK Industrial Injuries Advisory Council chair Lesley Rushton said that the problem was particularly rife with workers in small companies, sole traders and the older workforce: “Ignorance surrounding how to prevent workers from breathing in the fibres is deeply worrying. It is crucial that we reach them to inform them of the risks, ensure their future health is not compromised,” she said.

More than 5,000 people die each year from asbestos exposure at work, and the construction industry makes up 66 per cent of all cases of asbestos-related cancers, according to figures from 2012.

Written by Ad Rank One at 16/04/2018

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