Did you know almost 90,000 people die due to asbestos exposure every year globally? Well, that makes asbestos the leading cause of work-related deaths!
However, despite the commonality, a majority of workers remain unaware of this hazardous chemical. People continue to work at such job sites and come to know later in life once their health starts to deteriorate.
Thus, it doesn’t matter if you are an employee or an employer. All working adults must know about asbestos job risks and ways to mitigate its hazards.
Below, you will find detailed insights ranging from hazard types to asbestos awareness training. Read more to unravel!
What Is Asbestos and Its Hazards?
Fundamentally, asbestos is a natural mineral that has high resistance to heat and corrosion. It has remained a prominent component used in the construction and industrial industry. However, in the 1970s, some researchers unraveled the dark side of asbestos.
When crushed or broken, asbestos releases chemicals and radiation capable of ruining one’s health. It posed long-term risks amongst workers exposed to it.
Some of these include:
- The fine fibers of asbestos detach and travel down the nasal passage when inhaled. These fibers accumulate in the lungs, creating scar-like tissue. Also called asbestosis, this prevents the lungs from functioning and causes death.
- Certain asbestos fibers cause malignant tumors of the lung cavity’s membrane lining. This particular fatal condition gets referred to as mesothelioma. It may occur in the stomach’s membrane too.
Regardless, asbestos is still present in several structures around us. And builders continue to use it in infrastructure. You will find it in floor tiles, pipe insulation, brakes, and whatnot.
Although asbestos is almost everywhere, the individuals at most risk are the ones working with it. These include laborers and construction workers. People coming in direct contact with hazardous material can develop diseases more quickly.
How to Mitigate Asbestos Hazards at Job Site?
Usually, asbestos gets mixed with other materials. And so, people working do not know whether it is present or not. Hence, to begin, every employer or recruiter must inform the workers about the use of asbestos at job site.
For workers who continue with the job, companies and businesses must provide their quality safety equipment. These include protective masks, clothes, gloves, and goggles.
Also, they should receive proper asbestos awareness training. So, they can be vigilant at the individual level. The training must cover some significant aspects, such as:
- Waste disposal
Workers must know the appropriate asbestos waste disposal methods that ensure the hazards do not extend to other people. For example, they should double wrap the waste material into dedicated bags and dump it at a licensed place.
- Cleaning After Exposure
Employees must also learn about ways to clean asbestos in case of accidental exposure. Companies may also dedicate areas with cleaning facilities.
Summing it up, asbestos is a quite dangerous substance. It can cause severe health issues, such as cancer and disabilities.
Thus, companies must inform and educate their employees about it before hiring. It’s a part of their responsibility to provide a safe work environment.