The UK has been hit hard by mesothelioma, a rare, fatal lung disease that is caused by asbestos exposure. The country has a large number of buildings that are contaminated with asbestos, which is why many workers continue to be at risk, despite the fact that the dangers of asbestos are well understood.
In an attempt to protect young workers, the UK Asbestos Training Association or UKATA is requesting that the employers in the UK be sure that all new apprentices receive proactive training about asbestos dangers. (Mesothelioma.net)
Training Being Offered Because of Higher Mesothelioma Risk for Younger Workers
One major reason the UKATA is making special efforts to train workers about asbestos is research that shows younger workers are at higher risk for getting malignant mesothelioma than older workers, based on the same level of exposure. The UKATA thinks that the most effective training is that which occurs when people are young when they first start as apprentices. Providing training early in their careers should discourage poor work practices and ensure long-lasting protection from asbestos exposure.
The agency reports that apprentices in many trades are at higher risk for mesothelioma. The most vulnerable workers are carpenters, electricians, heating and ventilation workers, joiners, plumbers, painters, and decorators.
More Than 1.4 Million UK Workers At Mesothelioma Risk
It is estimated there are 1.3 tradespeople working in buildings in the UK that are contaminated with asbestos, so the risks of mesothelioma remain high in this nation. Asbestos is the biggest cause of work-related deaths, with 20 asbestos-related deaths in the UK every week.
Of the workers at risk, electricians are 16 times more likely to get a mesothelioma diagnosis than the rest of the population. An estimated one in 17 carpenters born in the 1940s will get mesothelioma. Also, asbestos exposure kills four plumbers in the UK each week. (PBCtoday.co.uk). The UK also has the highest mesothelioma death rate in the world. Most of them arise from asbestos exposure that happened before they were 30. Still, a 2017 survey found that ⅓ or less of tradespeople know how to handle asbestos properly. That is why the UKATA is supporting this initiative to make workers more aware of the dangers of the toxin and how to handle and dispose of it properly.
The Learning Occupational Health by Experiencing Risks (LOcHER) Project
The LocHER project will help by giving workers training in asbestos awareness. Craig Evans, Chief Operating Officer of the UK Asbestos Training Association, with the death rate from occupational asbestos exposure reaching a crisis level in the UK, this organization is calling on all employers of apprentices in trades to get asbestos awareness right way. It does not matter if that training is through a college or their employer.
Statistics show the sooner the person receives asbestos safety training, the better they will be protected against developing asbestos cancer later in life. Just a half-day awareness class can prevent them from getting mesothelioma or asbestosis, and ensure they do not expose other people to asbestos.
Many victims of mesothelioma in America could have benefited from having this type of awareness training. If you were diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and want information about resources available to you, be sure to talk to a licensed asbestos cancer attorney in your area.
Recent British Death from Asbestos Highlights Need for Early Education
A retired Derby mechanic recently died at 72 because of being exposed to asbestos as he was regularly exposed while fixing car brakes over the years. The man was a mechanic from 1967 to 1984 and was employed by three garages during that time. One of them was in Birmingham and one in Nuneaton.
The worker was diagnosed with epithelioid mesothelioma in May 2019 and died last November. Epithelioid mesothelioma affects the thin membrane that protects the lungs, heart and abdomen.
The coroner on the case stated that if he had not been exposed to asbestos, he probably would have lived a normal life. She said that the probability of his death was more likely than not from an industrial disease such as mesothelioma.
After the recent inquest, the COO of the UK Asbestos Training Association, Craig Evans, noted that this was a tragic story but is one that is happening too much in the UK. Even though asbestos has been banned since 1999, asbestos continues to be a danger. It was used in the UK for more than 100 years and is still present in many buildings and products.
The danger is often overlooked because the symptoms of asbestos cancer can take 40 years before they appear. This is why everyone needs to be aware of the dangers of asbestos, especially those who are often exposed to it.
Approved and recognized awareness training is low cost and essential for most blue-collar UK workers today. People need to regard it as an investment in their lives because their very lives could depend on it.