11
Jun

Safe Disposal of Asbestos Waste

According to the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), Brits have the highest risk globally of developing mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure. The HSE reports that asbestos exposure kills about 5000 people every year from asbestos-related diseases.

Given its widespread use in 20th-century construction across Britain, many workers might be near asbestos. Therefore, it’s crucial to know how to work safely around asbestos, avoid contact, and properly dispose of asbestos-contaminated hazardous waste.

Safe Disposal of Asbestos Waste

Who is at risk of working with asbestos?

Most employees will not encounter asbestos dangers as long as it remains undisturbed. However, some trades, particularly those involving building alterations or working near damaged structures built before 2000, face higher risks of asbestos exposure.

Occupations where asbestos poses a workplace hazard include:

  • – Construction and demolition contractors
  • – Firefighters
  • – Industrial workers
  • – Tradesmen
  • – Surveyors
  • – Telecommunications engineers
  • – Maintenance engineers

Why was asbestos used in the construction industry?

During the 20th century, asbestos was commonly used in both commercial and residential building construction. It was included in insulation, panelling, floor tiles, and roof sheeting, and even for decorative purposes like Artex.

At its peak, the UK imported over 170,000 tonnes of asbestos annually because it had properties ideal for construction. Asbestos was popular in the 1960s and 1970s because it was:

  • – Affordable
  • – Readily available
  • – Strong
  • – Insulating
  • – Fire resistant
  • – Heat resistant
  • – Sound absorbing

Despite these benefits, the severe health risks that emerged decades later led to its ban in 1999.

Where can you find asbestos?

Before the ban, asbestos was used in hundreds of thousands of construction, commercial, and household products. IOSH estimates there could be half a million UK buildings containing asbestos.

Common uses for asbestos in properties include:

  • – Fireproof coatings
  • – Concrete and cement
  • – Bricks
  • – Pipes
  • – Gaskets
  • – Insulation
  • – Drywall
  • – Flooring
  • – Roofing
  • – Joint compound
  • – Paints and sealants

How to Safely Dispose of Hazardous Asbestos Waste

In England and Wales, asbestos waste is classified as ‘hazardous waste’, and in Scotland as ‘special waste’, if it contains more than 0.1% asbestos. This type of waste cannot be treated like regular construction waste.

To remove asbestos, you need to have a waste carrier’s license and must properly segregate, contain, and label any asbestos waste before transporting it to a hazardous waste transfer station.

If you do not possess a waste carrier’s license or the necessary equipment, you must hire a registered waste carrier, such as Windsor Waste Management, to transport the asbestos waste.

Contact Windsor Waste Management

We are a market leader in asbestos disposal and hazardous waste management. Since 2000, we’ve built an unrivalled reputation in line with hazardous waste legislation and environmental best practice. We offer cradle to grave waste management and disposal solutions from analysing and identifying materials through to final compliant disposal.

Your waste is in safe hands.

Contact our friendly team today:

01708 55 99 66

enquiries@winwaste.com

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