HSENI launches Asbestos Campaign

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) has launched its new Asbestos Campaign, Always Ask for the Asbestos Register, aimed at the dangers of working with asbestos.

The campaign, which will take the form of social media messages, television and radio adverts, as well as outdoor advertisements throughout Northern Ireland over the coming months, is aimed at raising awareness and offering advice about the dangers of working with asbestos.

It will also encourage tradespeople to ‘Always Ask for the Asbestos Register’, particularly when working on buildings constructed before the year 2000. Managers of these commercial buildings have a legal duty to carry out a survey to establish if asbestos is present, identify what type it is, and have it recorded in an Asbestos Register which should be made available to tradespeople before working in their building.

HSENI Chief Executive Robert Kidd said: “Exposure to asbestos remains one of the biggest threats to construction employees in Northern Ireland. On average, one asbestos-related death occurs every two weeks in Northern Ireland.

“We are working to reduce the number of asbestos-related deaths, and we are launching this campaign aimed at protecting lives and protecting livelihoods, with the hope that it will have a real impact on tradespeople and the construction industry. Be alert to the possibility of asbestos containing materials before commencing drilling, cutting or demolition works that could lead to dangerous exposure.”

Recent figures also show that asbestos-related diseases killed 27 people, including 12 tradespeople in Northern Ireland in just one year.