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Avoid Asbestos Dangers and Prosecution Urges NAPIT

Avoid Asbestos Dangers and Prosecution Urges NAPIT

As we approach World Day for Health and Safety at Work on 28 April [1], asbestos health and safety failings are still commonplace, with a number of court cases arising in March. In response to this, NAPIT are urging installers to make sure they are aware when it comes to the hidden killer.

Three cases stood out and were recorded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE): On 19 March, a Bath building contractor was fined a total of £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £637 after exposing two of its employees to asbestos dust while working at a residential property in the city [2]. On 31 March, a Portsmouth demolition firm was fined a total of £500 with £1,000 in costs after stripping more than 50 metres of potentially-deadly asbestos board without a license and potentially putting workers at risk [3]. Also on 31 March, A Bristol property developer was fined £9,800 and ordered to pay £796 in costs after it exposed employees to asbestos while working on a former Marks and Spencer shop building [4].

Trevor Milner, NAPIT’s Training Manager, said: “These cases show a woeful lack of awareness when it comes to the dangers of asbestos. What people have to remember is that asbestos is a killer. Each week around 8 joiners, 6 electricians and 4 plumbers die from asbestos related diseases [5]. Strict health and safety laws are in place to keep people safe and an up to date awareness of the legislation is essential for any installer.”

Asbestos was not formally banned (in all its forms) until 1999. However, existing asbestos product installations, provided that they are not likely to be disturbed or damaged, is legal. Its excellent insulation properties also mean that it was used prolifically prior to this date. The result is that asbestos can be found almost anywhere in UK buildings.

Inhalation of asbestos fibres can cause a variety of serious diseases, all of which are incurable and ultimately fatal. This makes awareness of how it can be identified, where it can be found and what to do if you come into contact with it of vital importance.

NAPIT Training’s Asbestos Awareness Course provides all the knowledge required to work safely in environments where asbestos may be an issue and grants a keen grasp of all the relevant legislation. For more information on NAPIT’s Asbestos Awareness Course and to view the wide range of courses on offer, visit

NAPIT will be running a FREE Asbestos Awareness training taster course at this year’s NAPIT EXPO on 9 July. To register for NAPIT EXPO 2014 visit



Article Published: 22 April 2014

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NAPIT is one of the leading Government approved and United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredited membership scheme operators in the building services and fabric sector. There are currently more than 16,000 NAPIT registered installers in the electrical, heating, plumbing, ventilation, microgeneration and building fabric trades across the UK domestic, commercial and industrial markets. Read more...

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