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Health and Safety


For more information on Asbestos click here for the relevant chapter of the TUC guide to health and safety "Hazards at Work

Asbestos is the UK's biggest workplace killer.

The three main types of asbestos - blue, brown and white asbestos - can still be found in the workplace. There is no safe level of exposure and all types are dangerous.

Around 5,000 people die each year from mesothelioma and asbestos related lung cancer - 13 people for every day of the year. These figures are rising and it is predicted that by 2010 some 10,000 people in Britain will die every year from exposure to asbestos, more than twice the number of road accident deaths. Before the death rate declines, up to a quarter of a million people in Britain may have died from asbestos exposures.

There are up to six million tonnes of asbestos in schools, hospitals, ships, offices and factories - and the homes we live in. The importation, supply, and use of all asbestos throughout Britain is prohibited.

The TUC and HSE have jointly produced guidance for safety representatives on managing asbestos and what the law says. It can be found at http://www.tuc.org.uk/h_and_s/tuc-12793-f0.cfm



Free HSE leaflets



Asbestos support groups

TUC Safety Reps' checklist on the duty to manage asbestos

TUC managing asbestos factsheet

The most recent documents available on this subject are:

Court challenge to cancer payouts
A nine-week battle started this week in the High Court and will see insurance companies seek to evade liability for a large number of asbestos compensation payouts.
PDF version available for download
6 June 2008

Court rules asbestos causes lung cancer
A High Court ruling has confirmed the lung cancer and asbestos link
23 May 2008

Call for schools asbestos survey
Teaching union ATL is urging the government to carry out a survey of all schools to check whether asbestos is present
22 February 2008

Postcard push for pleural plaques payouts
Unions and asbestos groups have launched a campaign to press for compensation for pleural plaques.
22 February 2008

Trades alerted to youth asbestos risk
Every week 20 workers in construction trades die simply because they have breathed in asbestos fibres during the course of their work, a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) campaign is warning.
22 February 2008

Asbestos sufferers in pleural plaques protest
Trade unionists and asbestos support groups from across the country have called for compensation for asbestos related pleural plaques to be reinstated.
PDF version available for download
1 February 2008

Older documents - 139   >

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Northern TUC / HSE Training Day

The quality of working life: promoting a healthy agenda

Related reps and officer training courses from unionlearn.

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Occupational and Environment Diseases Association

Please also see the complete list of web site links.