Work Safe

Working With Asbestos

Working with Asbestos

The material

Asbestos , a naturally occurring mineral once widely used in construction for its flame-resistant and insulating properties. What is known now, but was not at the time, asbestos fibres when disturbed can become airborne and so pose a serious health hazard. This should be a major concern when planning surface preparation before  painting or applying a coating to a floor. Floor grinding, scabbling or shot blasting can release microscopic asbestos fibres into the air, causing a dangerous situation for both site operatives and building occupants.

The Law

Without qualification and licensing, it is illegal to work with asbestos. Contractors and employers are compelled to ensure asbestos fibres are not present or released but where exposure to fibres cannot be eliminated, exposure must be kept as low as possible by more than just using respiratory protective equipment. The regulations specify the work methods and controls that prevent exposure and spread. Where situations do not require a licence, contractors and employers will still need to comply with the general rules detailed in the regulations.

The Problem

Inhaled asbestos fibres can lodge in the lungs for many years, leading to serious health conditions, such lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis.

Your responsibility

Multi-Hire stipulate that their machines cannot be used where asbestos or other hazardous goods are present and it is the hirer’s responsibility to ensure that they are not being used in such an environment or for such a purpose. 

Why you can’t use our machines in hazardous environments

  • Multi-Hire are not licensed or qualified to handle contaminated goods, including our machines. We do not have the necessary equipment or training to decontaminate them after hire.
  • The majority of our vacuum dust control units have M-class rated filters. For asbestos filters need to be rated H-Class.

The Answer

We work closely with Thermac (Hire) Limited, a specialist hire company that do have the requisite licencing and facilities to accommodate contaminated equipment. Thermac (Hire) have been delivering industry standards since 1993. They pride themselves in being industry innovators, with the skills, knowledge and technical capability to develop new and bespoke solutions for their client’s requirements, across a wide range of industries and sectors.

Thermac are the UK’s leading supplier of specialist decontamination and surface preparation equipment hire, consumables, RPE, PPE, equipment servicing, deep clean and face-fitting.

We work closely with Thermac. If you have the requisite certification and licencing, you can hire any of our machines through Thermac and after use they will collect and decontaminate the equipment in their purpose built chamber and certificate it as contaminate free.

If you want to know how this works on a practical level please contact us.

Here's an additional article with more detailed information about the causes and effects of asbestos related diseases.

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