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‘Asbestos is not a historic problem.’

In a recent article Labour MP Rachel Reeves discussed the ongoing issue of asbestos in schools. According to her up to 21,000 schools still have asbestos in them and this number might not even be decreasing. It may actually be on the rise as newly established ‘free schools’ are being housed in old office blocks and other redundant buildings, where there is every chance asbestos was used when constructing them.

This is why Rachel has promised to try and tackle the asbestos plight that is currently in our schools.

In her article she mentions an incident at the J W Textile factory. Though the factory closed in the 50’s the building remained and asbestos dust blew over all the surrounding homes. Hundreds of former employees and local residents have died from asbestos related illnesses. The surrounding areas has been found to have the highest concentration of mesothelioma, a cancer usually linked with asbestos, in the country.

Though, as the title of this article suggests, asbestos is not a historic one. The issue is still very much ongoing. As can be seen in the case of Sue Stephens, a primary school teacher of 30 years who recently died after exposure to asbestos in the classroom. Hers is not a unique case, between 2003 and 2012 it is estimated that 224 teachers have died of mesothelioma.

Here at SBS Asbestos we know the dangers of asbestos intimately. We make sure our team does too, by sending them on annual refresher courses so they never forget the seriousness of this hazardous material.

SBS asbestos offers some of the most comprehensive asbestos services in Yorkshire. We can carry out complete surveys on any type of property as well as asbestos removal, asbestos disposal and remediation. To find out more about our services just give us a call on 0800 211 8346.

 

SBS do Asbestos Surveys

We don’t need to preach the dangers of asbestos. If you are reading this then you are already aware of the dangers of asbestos, and also the regulations surrounding it. Now, to be able to legally handle asbestos you have to hold certain qualifications as well as wearing the proper level of personal protection and using the correct equipment.

SBS Asbestos is a group of independent asbestos surveyors carrying out asbestos surveys across the whole of Yorkshire.

All our staff hold the necessary qualifications which enables them to locate and advise on the removal on this hazardous material. But more than that, they all have years of experience working with, and around asbestos. This means they are able to identify where there will probably be asbestos in your building, and also how to differentiate between asbestos and other materials that look similar. We have found through many years of working with asbestos that it turns up in the most unlikely of places. Thanks to our experience we can always locate it.

By law, any commercial property built before the year 2000, which a huge number of commercial properties in Yorkshire were, must have had an asbestos management plan before it can be used. If you don’t comply with this law, not only are you putting yourself, your staff and your customers or clients at risk, but you could also face other consequences. These other consequences range from putting the reputation of your company at risk, risking future compensation claims and a decline in property value. Also, insurance companies may not renew your policy unless you have had a survey carried out.

SBS provide a range of asbestos services, such as:

  • Asbestos Management Surveys
  • Asbestos Refurbishment and Demolition Surveys
  • Asbestos Management
  • Asbestos Consultancy Advice

If you would like to learn more about our services then just give us a call on 0800 211 8346.

SBS Asbestos Removal Service

Chances are if you are reading this then you know the danger that asbestos can pose to your health. But just in case you don’t, here is a quick run-down.

Asbestos is a building material that was widely used up until the year 2000 in the UK, and unfortunately still is in much of the rest of the world.

It is a natural fibrous rock and is used because of its excellent insulation properties (keeping the warm in, and cold out), fire retardation and protection against corrosion. Because of its many practical properties it was extensively used between the 1950’s and mid 80’s.

However, before long it was found that the material could be extremely damaging to health.

The fine fibres that come off asbestos when it is cut, moved, broken or even rubbed against can cause two extremely severe types of lung cancer that are always nearly fatal. Even working near asbestos and breathing in its fibres can be damaging.

Even though its use has been outlawed since the year 2000, in 2005 2,500 deaths in the construction industry were blamed on asbestos.

This is why the removal of asbestos is now undertaken by specialist teams with specific training on how to handle the extremely toxic material.

SBS Asbestos is one of those specialist teams. All our engineers have taken the necessary qualifications and are equipped with top of the line equipment which enables us to handle and remove asbestos quickly and safely. We also make our engineers go on an annual refresher course to make sure the risks of handling the material are fresh in their mind, and to make sure they still adhere to all safety measures necessary.

We have offices all over the country, but we focus our asbestos removal services in Yorkshire. We have offices in Huddersfield, Bradford and Sheffield, this spread allows us to react to any enquiries quickly and efficiently.

If you suspect you have asbestos in your property in Yorkshire then don’t hesitate to contact us on 0800 211 8346 and we can carry out a full site survey and removal of this hazardous substance.

The Legacy of Asbestos is still Going Strong

In the UK there are many organisations, like SBS Asbestos, that are set up in order to tackle the blight that is asbestos. While the problem is far from over, at least in this country we are doing all we can to tackle it. We are doing this by educating people on what asbestos is, how to spot it and how to deal with it.

Unfortunately, in other parts of the world they are not going to the same lengths. In a recent incident a whole shipment of building materials sent from china to Australia was found to contain asbestos. Some of these materials were on their way to be used in a children’s hospital in Perth.

This incident perfectly highlights the global problem that asbestos is. In UK we are well aware of the ramifications of using asbestos as a building material, but in less developed countries it is still commonly used, despite the potential risks. India, China, Indonesia and Thailand all import vast amounts of asbestos, despite the warnings of the obvious health risks.

The World Health Organisation estimate that 125 million people around the world are exposed to asbestos each year. Which is a staggering and terrifying number. It is also predicted that this number is a conservative estimate, as asbestos is insidious in nature, with risks and symptoms typically not noticed for some time afterward.

Australia banned asbestos as a building material in the 1980’s, it wasn’t until 13 years later that the UK did the same. If Australia are still having issues with the toxic substance slipping through the net then surely the UK must be too.

If you suspect there may be asbestos present in your building, which it very well might be if your building was constructed before the year 2000, then call someone like SBS Asbestos. We will carry out a survey to locate any present asbestos, before removing it and discarding of it safely. We can also replace it with a suitable, modern, safe alternative. Call us on 0800 211 8346 to find out more.

School Fined £46k for Disturbing Asbestos.

We don’t need to tell you the dangers of asbestos. It has been repeated innumerable times that the improper handling of asbestos can lead to a multitude of health risks, including cancer.

However, reports of the dangerous material being mishandled, or removed improperly are all too common. This could be for a few reasons. The first being a lack of respect for this material. It is possible that the people carrying out the work simply do not comprehend the risks involved. The second, and more probable reason, is that they do not have a survey carried out before undertaking building work.

Asbestos could be present in any building that was built right up to the year 2000. So if you are planning on having any large work done in a building built before then, an asbestos survey is vital. Not only do you risk your own health, as well as the health of those around you, but you could also be liable to receive quite a sizeable fine, as the Boswells School in Chelmsford recently found out.

They decided to convert an old boiler room into a new cleaning store room. During the course of their work the caretaker unknowingly disturbed some asbestos on the walls and swept it up on the floor, which would have thrown a huge amount of particles into the air. This would have posed a huge health risk for the caretakers.

This was only brought to light when a survey was carried out at a later date.

After this the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated and found asbestos in other areas of the school, which had also highly likely been disturbed, and thus put staff and students health at risk.

The school pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at work act and was fined £26,000 and ordered to pay £20,000 in damages.

This is a perfect example highlighting the need to have asbestos surveys carried out by experienced and qualified professionals, such as SBS Asbestos. Call 0800 211 8346 to find out more about the services we provide.

Wales Man Warns of the Dangers of Asbestos

Here at SBS Asbestos, we know full well how much of a danger asbestos can be, which is why we strive to deliver efficient asbestos removal services to our clients across Yorkshire and the rest of the UK. However, not everyone understands fully how dangerous asbestos is and it really takes a tragic story for the reality to hit home.

Keith Gardener, a man from Newport, Wales, has recently been speaking at the recent Action Mesothelioma Day, organised by the charity Mesothelioma UK, on the dangers of asbestos. Late last year he was diagnosed with the disease, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

The 66-year-old had been carpenter and joiner had hoped to work until the age of 70, but this career has had to be cut short due to the disease limiting his ability to complete even simple tasks.

At the charity event, Gardener said the following: “Lots of people worked with asbestos before its problems and dangers came to light. I didn’t work with asbestos all the time, but back then we didn’t get goggles, masks and gloves. We’d cut it, or rip it up with our hands.”

He is now no longer able to perform simple tasks, such as walking on an incline, without feeling breathless. Now he wants to warn others of what can happen with prolonged exposure to asbestos:

“I think a lot more will come to light about asbestos, and a lot more people will pay the price of being exposed to it. It’s still there in lots of buildings, and people must be made more aware of how dangerous it can be.”

It is stories like this that we want to avoid in the future, which is why the team at SBS Asbestos has spent years helping clients with asbestos removal services. If you’re worried about asbestos and would like a survey carried out on your property, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.

SBS Group win place on new National Framework

SBS Asbestos are delighted to announce that we have won a place on a new national framework, focused on ensuring the high quality of building and renovation works across the UK.

The LHC FRAMEWORK ARRANGEMENTis used by local authorities, social landlords and other public sector bodies to procure works, products and services for the construction, refurbishment and maintenance of social housing and public buildings.

By having a place on this framework, SBS are proven to conform to high levels of health and safety, processes and most importantly, quality on all types of work we deliver.

Speaking about the award, director Phil Redfearn said: “It is great news for the SBS Group to have been added to the national framework. By being part of this framework, our customers and any potential clients know they can trust us with their projects. It helps them to pick reputable companies and helps us in many other areas as a business. It is an exciting time for the company.”

If you would like to know more about SBS Asbestos, or find out about some of the projects we have been working on, please do not hesitate to contact one of our team.

Two Companies Receive Huge Fine for Improper Handling of Asbestos.

Recently a maintenance group has been fined for inappropriate handling and standards when working with asbestos.

24-Hour Maintenance Services Limited disturbed some sheets of asbestos while doing refurbishment to a commercial property, converting it into a residency.

When the HSE carried out an investigation into the incident it was found that the client actually had prior knowledge of the presence of asbestos, but did not pass this information on to the contractor.

Then the contractor did not carry out a refurbishment and demolition survey of the site in order to determine the presence of asbestos. Consequently two workers stripped out the AIB without any precautions or protection and were exposed to a significant amount of asbestos fibres.

The amount of exposure could potentially cause some serious health risks.

Asbestos could potentially be found in any building built before the year 2000. Therefore it is in your best interests, and in some cases is a legal requirement, to have an asbestos survey carried out by qualified professionals.

SBS has been providing safe asbestos removal services for many years. All the staff here are fully qualified and experienced in the safe handling and removal of asbestos. If you would like to learn more about the services we provide simply call us on 0800 211 8346.

 

Police Scotland has problem with Asbestos

According to reports, Police Scotland have been told to take immediate action as they overcome the presence of asbestos in some of the force’s buildings.

The HSE served the force with an improvement notice after inspections at four of their locations in Glasgow during April.

Police Scotland said it was taking the appropriate action to resolve the issue and was working closely with the HSE, staff organisations and unions.

The force confirmed that it had received an improvement notice in relation to the management of asbestos following an inspection of some local divisional offices.

A spokeswoman said: “Immediate action has been taken to address any site specific issues, and the service is also working closely with staff associations and trade unions to take forward the necessary action.”

New Website for SBS Asbestos

SBS Asbestos would like to welcome you to our new website. On here you will find information about the services we provide, our current clients and case studies as well as helpful information regarding asbestos.

For example, did you know that asbestos exposure kills 1 person every 5 minutes around the world? Asbestos is a serious problem and must be treated with respect and removed carefully.

If you should have a problem with asbestos at your building, or are a landlord or property manager looking for a company to come and provide high quality asbestos services, please do look no further than SBS Asbestos.

For more information, contact us on 0800 211 8346.

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