Mother has got safety ignorant Indian cowboys in to replace an asbestos
cement garage roof. Method of removal of the old roof is hammers and
smashing it all to pieces, dry, no mask or overall protection & dust
Should I call H&S?
Should they all start making wills?
How long should she wait for the dust to settle before entering the place?
Yes - for the sake of the poor saps getting regular work exposure, and
likely to have serious health problems years down the line.
Are they paying for proper, legal disposal of asbestos?
Are you aware that you are likely to be committing an offence by
knowingly contracting someone to work like this?
"Sporadic and low intensity, guv'nor" is the favoured form of words
for fending off the bowler hat.
That, and placing the air sampler well _upwind_ of the job site.
"Air sampler". I crack myself up. As if.
Any particular reason to replace it? Did it need fixing, or was it
being removed because asbestos is "too dangerous to leave in place".
Hammering it is fortunately a bit less troublesome than disk cutting
it - or even for that matter, pressure-washing the moss off it.
I wouldn't panic, but I would try to encourage safe practice from now
on, a cleanup of the mess they've made so far, and having _their_
lungs doing it. Also check where the stuff is eventually being
disposed of, as they sound like the sort of people who'd be fly-
tipping it under the nearest hedge.
I'm curious as to how you are supposed to do this? Water sprays to keep it
all damped down? Or do you paint over it all before you start? In which
case, what about cut edges? I'm assuming here that it's not possible on a
roof to seal the whole area off completely.
On Mon, 7 Mar 2011 18:08:30 -0000, Skipweasel wrote:
Yep build a scaffold to enclose the entire structure, double cover
that with polythene, fit air locks and a negative pressure system.
Everything is double bagged inside the containment.
Bit OTT for an asbestos cement roof which is probably white asbestos
and relatively safe compared to blue or brown. Bashing it up with
hammers or angle grinding into manageable bits with no attempt at
dust control or breathing protection is at the other extreme though.
On Mon, 07 Mar 2011 22:24:07 +0000, Peter Parry wrote:
I'd agree with that. There is a lot of FUD surrounding asbestos. Yes,
it can be nasty stuff, documented cases of people going down with
asbestosis or related lung disease 50 years after a single 15 minute
exposure to low levels. But that would almost certainly be blue or
brown asbestos not white that is commonly found in asbestos cement.
The average handyman is probably more at risk from the dust produced
by machine MDF or hard woods.
Ill agree about the FUD. Those documented cases - do you have a link?
Or is it just a case of "Well they must have been exposed to Asbestos or
they wouldn't be ill"?
I'm sure most builders won't remember exactly what was in that building
they knocked down 15 years ago.
That's possibly true. But how do you prove it? Say 90% of all cases
are in people who smoked. And the other 10% are in people who have been
exposed to smoke (or asbestos). You can't really tell whether some of
the cases were associated with something else, because of the strong
smoke (or asbestos!) effect on the disease.
You can't with lung diseases, but you can with mesothelioma. There's
really nothing much else that causes it.
Legally there's no requirement to prove that asbestos caused a
condition anyway. The legal test is that it _probably_ caused it,
which is accepted as being proven if the exposure caused at least a
doubling of risk (sounds low, but actually it makes statistical
sense). A doubling of risk is not an epidemiologically serious
increase in risk - in most studies of rare conditions with small
sample groups it's hard to demonstrate significance - but it can be
enough to show cause.
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