New tougher Control of Asbestos Regulations coming into force
Most people are now aware of the dangers of exposure to asbestos dust and the risk of mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural thickening that ensues. The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 took steps to ensure that workers who had to work in areas that asbestos was present were subject to certain safeguards. However the European Commission were not satisfied that these were adequate and from 6 April 2012, the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 come into force.These now confirm that anyone handling or removing asbestos which is in any way flaking, crumbling or degrading must have the work recorded in a register of work with asbestos, must have the job notified to the relevant enforcing authority and be medically examined on a regular basis (this last does not come into force until 2015).Given the 30-40 year gap between exposure to asbestos and the onset of symptoms of asbestos related disease, it is to be hoped that asbestos related deaths will fall to zero from the 4,732 who died in 2009 (see HSE website). The lack of control measures 30-40 years ago has imposed a heavy toll on the country’s workers.
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