Check out Gully Howard Technical’s Asbestos Awareness 2018 Campaign Here: #AsAw2018
Since beginning my new role here at Gully Howard Technical I have experienced a steep learning curve regarding asbestos with which I have a good foundation of knowledge but am by no means an expert. However the biggest part of this learning I have come to know is that not enough people know the basics when it comes to asbestos.
Sure, you mention the word asbestos and people know it is something bad….BUT the majority you are likely to speak to who do not work directly with it have no idea asbestos really it is, where it can found, the dangers, related illnesses AND most importantly who is or could be at risk of exposure.
In short; we are all potentially at risk! Now, it is important for me to reassure you that I am not writing this to try to scare people. Those ‘in the know’ are comfortable in the knowledge that so long as asbestos is appropriately managed it poses no immediate risk.
Why am I telling you this? Well asbestos and its related illnesses have become personal to me. I had no idea how common asbestos was, what materials contain it, who it can affect, the long term illnesses that relate to exposure and more.
Upon doing my initial research to support my training and get myself up to speed on all things asbestos I came to notice that a large portion of professionals who are likely to come across asbestos are tradesman of all kinds including plumbers, electricians, builders, site Managers, care takers, ship builders and facilities managers.Upon speaking with various professionals/tradesmen it has become apparent that although the more experienced in their trade are aware of asbestos those perhaps younger or whom have been working in trade for less time were not quite as up to speed with what it is, where it can be found etc as they could or in my opinion, should be.
I believe that awareness and education on asbestos may have peaked a few years ago when the related illnesses increased but the foot has been taken off the gas a little in raising awareness outside of those who work directly with asbestos. This is just what I am seeing and not results with statistics or any surveys.
Putting aside professionals who may work/come across asbestos in their day to day job we then have schools, teachers, home owners, DIY enthusiasts etc. who again, may be living in, working in, own properties that contain asbestos materials but not have any idea! I relate to this part particularly because I recall as a teenager helping to scrape aertex from walls and ceilings in a previous home. Did you know aertex back in the day contained asbestos? I didn’t and as a result of that I may have been exposed!
This is where it gets really personal for me. Upon chatting to my dad over a nice cup of coffee I was confronted with the realisation that alot of what my dads suffers with and is in remission for, is, no doubt in my mind related to the excessive exposure he experienced in his younger days. Do you want to know the saddest part? The realisation wasn’t just for me. It was for him too.
Did you know that only a 3rd of construction workers even check for an asbestos register? Given the size of our construction industry and number of people employed in this sector that is a huge amount of workers potentially at risk!
With all of this in mind I would like to invite to you help us raising awareness HERE
You can also follow this campaign on Twitter HERE