If you have already undergone a prolonged period of instruction as an apprentice electrician, you may be reluctant to undertake additional training, but being aware of the dangers of asbestos could save your life.
During the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s, electricians faced significant risk of exposure due to the nature of work they carried out, the materials used at the time, and the routes taken through roof voids to access and change wiring systems.
Back then, exposure to asbestos could have occurred at any time. The problem is, the nature of an electrician’s work is not much different today. So how do you make sure that you don’t suffer the same exposure as your predecessors in the trade?
HSE Asbestos Awareness Training
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched a ‘Beware Asbestos’ campaign to make people aware of the dangers of exposure to asbestos. Their website includes valuable advice and guidance on asbestos awareness training, for employed and self-employed electricians.
The recent death of a 50-year old electrician from Romsey, has highlighted the importance of this type of training. Having crawled through roof spaces containing asbestos in varying forms for more than ten years, his death was attributed to industrial disease following an inquest.
The case reiterates the fact that deterioration in health may not occur for several decades following exposure, which could occur from:
- Cutting and drilling into wall and ceiling coverings
- Removing and replacing old wiring systems, the insulation for which may contain asbestos
- Crawling through roof spaces to fit electrical cables in commercial buildings
If you’re employed as an electrician, it’s a legal requirement for your employer to provide asbestos awareness training. For self-employed electricians, spending 90 minutes taking a short online training course could literally save your life.