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Gaps in asbestos knowledge revealed

25 April 2012

Progress in raising awareness of asbestos management procedures has been made, according to the Great British Asbestos Survey, but it also shows there is still work needed to reduce risk of exposure

Results from the 2011 Great British Asbestos Survey carried our annually by the UKAS Accredited Asbestos Campaign, have been released and can be downloaded from
www.asbestosinspectionbodies.co.uk.
The Survey completed throughout 2011 by a wide range of professionals representing a range of business sizes and disciplines from across the UK, provides a comprehensive picture of the level of awareness of asbestos in buildings within the built environment industry.
The Survey shows that many commercial businesses have asbestos management procedures in place but there are some significant gaps. Among these are knowledge of responsibilities, and provision of information and training. This is demonstrated by the number of people that have confirmed that they have disturbed asbestos during their activities.
The survey revealed that while just 68% of respondents were aware of the duty to manage asbestos; some 25% had not received awareness training; about 35% of contractors visiting sites said they had disturbed asbestos during their works, with a further 26% not knowing whether they had or not.
About 25% asbestos surveys are not being completed in line with guidance and this can lead to poor surveys, a lack of comeback in terms of complaints procedures and insurance issues. Ultimately this could increase the risk of personnel being exposed to asbestos where not identified properly.
It is clear from the Survey that although some progress has been made in raising awareness of asbestos management procedures and getting personnel trained there is still a large amount of work that needs to be done to ensure people are not exposed to asbestos.


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