Asbestos is a material that was used as an insulation and fireproofing aid in building construction throughout the second half of the 20th century.
Since 1999, the use of asbestos has been prohibited, but it still exists in many buildings throughout the UK – in fact, you can be fairly confident that any building built between 1950 and 1985 containing asbestos.
Many asbestos related deaths can be attributed to people working with asbestos before its use was prohibited, however, the unfortunate truth is that the risk of catching an asbestos related disease still remains even today.
Who is still at risk of asbestos related diseases?
Anyone working on a building erected prior to the year 2000 may be at danger of being exposed to high numbers of asbestos fibres, unless a full check for asbestos is carried out before the work starts.
The regulations to manage asbestos were introduced to help reduce this risk. The regulations state that all non-domestic buildings must be surveyed for asbestos, and, where found, a suitable management plan put in place.
The survey must then be made available to everyone involved in a project, such as builders or any other stakeholders who may disturb the building fabric – read more about this on our working with asbestos page.