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Asbestos – the hidden killer

The HSE have a great microsite called Hidden Killer, which provides¬†information about asbestos in the workplace and the home. The intention is to help ensure people know enough to protect themselves, their colleagues and their families. It’s not as exhaustive as a complete asbestos awareness course but is useful nonetheless.

The site is broken up into several sections, each with some neat graphics plus a couple of interactions:

What is Asbestos?

This section covers the basics of what Asbestos is with some background about the nature and uses of the material. There are images to support the content showing real-life instances of asbestos in buildings.

Where is it found?

This section reinforces the first section by means of an interactive “asbestovision” graphic. Click on the binoculars and move the mouse over the graphic of the house to see where asbestos could be located.

What is the danger?

This section summarises the main risks to health from asbestos, citing mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural thickening. It reinforces the content with a subsection – Real Life Stories – which features the experiences of everyday people who have suffered from an asbestos-related disease.

How should I handle it?

As always, the key advice is to avoid disturbing asbestos. The section provides essentialinformation on working with asbestos, with checklists for people working on buildings built before 2000, and what to do if you are required to work with asbestos.

There’s a link to an Asbestos Essentials tasklist also.


Finally, there’s a short quiz to help you check your knowledge. The questions are simple multiple-choice and each one contains useful feedback whether you answer it correctly or not.