If you’re considering working with asbestos, you must know that you’ll be working with a substance that is so dangerous that it kills nearly 5,000 people every year, and about 20 professionals die every week due to exposure to this harmful material. However, even though it’s dangerous, it does have its uses and trained professionals are needed to deal with it. If you plan on working near asbestos in construction or a related field, you’re going to want to know everything there is to know about the substance and how to safely handle it.
What Danger Does Asbestos Pose?
When materials containing asbestos are inert, they’re not dangerous at all. It’s only when the materials are damaged or disturbed that they pose a danger due to the asbestos fibres being released. Once they’re airborne, these small fibres can easily be inhaled without you realising it. They can then cause several different types of cancer such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, or pleural thickening. These illnesses are often fatal, especially since they are often undiagnosed until in their later stages.
Asbestos was often used in residential and industrial buildings that were constructed prior to the year 2000. It can be found in loose fill insulation, in ceiling tiles, in partition walls, around the water tank or boiler, and many other places. Homes or buildings that are being remodeled or demolished must be swept for asbestos and the appropriate steps taken to make certain the materials are handled properly.
Working Around Asbestos
You will want to go through an asbestos training course before you begin looking for a job where you have to handle asbestos. If you already have a job but haven’t had training, your employer should send you to training. You may receive a certification that you have completed one of these courses, although no certification is required to get a job dealing with asbestos.
If you are going to work around materials classified as high risk, you will need to be licensed. This involves becoming a licensed contractor and completing all of the training necessary to properly use the protective equipment needed to work around asbestos. These licenses are granted by the HSE after you complete an exam.
If you have had this training, your next step may be to ask yourself, “where can I find good asbestos jobs”? You can turn to the Internet to find a job that involves working around asbestos. There are many careers in the construction or remodelling industries that will put your skills and knowledge to good use.
Be Sure to Renew Your License
You should take a refresher training course every year even if you’re doing work that does not require a license. If you do have a license, you will need to renew it through the HSE. Licenses are generally good for either one year or three years. If you do not keep your license current, you will be unable to work on specific projects that can only be done by licensed individuals.