Sometimes, art has a way of gently touching on an emotional subject, which isn’t possible with mere words, and this is certainly true of artist Joe Joiner’s new installation in London’s Covent Garden. The death of his own great-grandmother from exposure to asbestos led to his discovery that this is not just an historic problem.
Asbestos still presents a significant danger, even today, and the fact that it only became an illegal substance in the construction industry in 2000, illustrates the importance of learning more about it.
The art installation represents a breathing pair of lungs, and was commissioned by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as part of their Beware Asbestos campaign. Messages from bereaved families float around inside the ‘lungs’ and symbolise deadly asbestos fibres.
The HSE aims to bring the dangers of asbestos to the forefront of peoples’ minds, particularly in relation to Asbestos Awareness training for employed and self-employed tradespeople, but also for anyone coming into contact with the building industry.
This includes the likes of surveyors, architects, and those involved in the renovation of old houses, who may not know about the dangers of asbestos.
Asbestos Awareness training saves lives
Known as Category ‘A’ training, Asbestos Awareness courses are available online or in a classroom scenario. They are intended to provide an idea of what asbestos looks like and where it may lie, to those most likely to come across it in their normal working day.
How to avoid it is one of the main messages of this type of training, conveying the importance of calling in trained contractors to deal with or move it. Online courses can be fitted into a busy day, with the knowledge gleaned from them potentially saving many lives.