By Joe McRobert
Asbestos is known as the ‘hidden killer’; it is generally not in plain sight, for example, you would find it in walls and ceilings, and it can be very dangerous. It can cause a number of diseases that could potentially be fatal, including Mesothelioma and Asbestosis. These diseases can be caused if the asbestos fibres are inhaled. This is why you need to be fully equipped when you are working with it. It is not always easy to identify either, so this makes it even more dangerous.
So if you are already working with asbestos or you are going to be, then you need to have all of the equipment to make sure you are safe. Here is a list of the equipment you need to ensure you are fully protected from the hidden killer.
You will need overalls to cover the clothing you are wearing otherwise your clothing will be exposed to the asbestos fibres; not only would this be dangerous for you, it can also be dangerous for others near you as they may also inhale the fibres. You need to make sure you are fully covered, so you should avoid tucking your overalls into your boots because dust could get into your boots and you should avoid wearing long-sleeved t-shirts because they are more difficult to cover. You should be supplied with disposable overalls. One thing you should always remember is to not take home the used overalls!
Respiratory Protective Equipment
If you are going to be working with asbestos, then this is one of the most important items that should be provided. The respiratory protective equipment will allow you to breathe without the risk of inhaling the asbestos fibres, however you should make sure it is fitted correctly. If it is not fitted correctly, then you could still be at risk of inhaling the deadly fibres; once you have properly fitted your protective mask, you should then put the hood of the overalls up to cover the straps of your mask.
Another very important item that should be worn every time you are going to be dealing with asbestos is gloves. Disposable gloves are the best for dealing with asbestos because you can dispose of them as soon as you have finished you job.
Boots are the best type of footwear you can wear when working with asbestos; however, you should avoid wearing laced boots because they are more difficult to clean. The laces on your boots will be exposed to the fibres and you could potentially spread asbestos fibres outside of the workplace. Just make sure your overalls go over the top of the boots to avoid any dust entering your footwear.
Protect yourself from the hidden killer and make sure you have everything you need to safely complete the job. Remember that working with asbestos is a dangerous job and you need to be careful. Once you have prepared yourself for the job, you should then make sure anyone you are working with is also prepared. However, if you are ever exposed to asbestos, then be sure to seek medical advice and contact a solicitor, for example Flint Bishop Solicitors, to guide you through your next steps.
About the Author: Joe is a business coach that works with small businesses to improve processes for handling health and safety among other things. He is a regular contributor at