Businesses have a responsibility to their customers and to their employees. They should be places of safety, otherwise the implications could be catastrophic on a number of levels.
Firstly, there is the physical risk to people in a location if it isn’t actually safe. Then there are the financial and reputational risks to a business should it, in some way, cause injury to its employees or customers.
No one should expect to encounter a serious health risk if they visit their local shop. Should they?
Gemma Voaden, Lead Asbestos Surveyor at All Survey, sees things differently. “We were asked to look at a chain of shops, to make sure they were safe from asbestos”, she explains. “They seemed pretty confident that they were clear but we found asbestos in most of their 176 shops”.
Due to the risks to health, Gemma ordered three of the shops to be closed down immediately. At one of the shops, all of the staff and stock needed to be tested for asbestos contamination.
“There are around 5,000 asbestos-related deaths a year in the UK”, Gemma points out. “It makes it vital that we can find it and remove it wherever possible. We’re talking about the safety of vulnerable people from what amounts to a hidden threat”.
You can find Asbestos in anything built before the year 2000. It is particularly dangerous because, once disturbed, it releases fibres into the air, which, if inhaled, can be the cause of serious long-term diseases.
“People may not realise how commonplace asbestos still is,” Gemma concluded. “It can be found in a wide range of common building materials. We’ve located it in things such as floor tiles and insulating board. Asbestos was only finally, and completely, banned for any use as recently as 1999, so there’s still plenty of it out there.”
All Survey manage asbestos, throughout the UK, by detecting and removing it (or sometimes leaving it) from different types of location. Because there is still so much of it around, sometimes in unexpected places, All Survey also educate people and businesses about its dangers.
If you would like to ensure the safety of your employees and customers and would like free asbestos advice, please call All Survey on 0161 628 2555. Alternatively, if you prefer to fill in your details below, All Survey will get in touch with you.