Asbestos Exposure still a danger to young apprentices

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Asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma are far from becoming obsolete. In fact, the young men and women taking up ever more popular Apprenticeships are at the same risk of developing asbestos-related diseases as the generations that went before.

And now Jean Doyle, who was widowed when her husband Dave succumbed to mesothelioma caused by his life-long work as a joiner, is behind a new training initiative which highlights the dangers of exposure to asbestos in the workplace for young people.

The scheme has already been trialled and will now be rolled out with videos, reports and other information warning young apprentices of the dangers of asbestos. Trainee joiners, electricians, plumbers and other tradespeople will be taught about the dangers of exposure to asbestos and lecturers can download a free training package to help raise awareness of asbestos and the diseases it can cause, including mesothelioma.

Asbestos exposure is a hazard to your health – image

Mrs Doyle said about apprentices: "I hope this new scheme will give them the confidence to say ‘no’ when they’re out at work, if they’re asked to work with asbestos. It may look like dust but it’s deadly."

Every year across the UK about 4,000 people die from asbestos-related diseases – in fact, asbestos is the biggest workplace killer in this country. And whilst many people believe that asbestos is no longer a threat as it is not used today, it was still widely used in buildings as little as 10 years ago. Meaning that apprentices are in very real danger of being exposed to asbestos and could go on to develop fatal asbestos-related diseases later in life. One video features an interview with Christopher Morgan, who died from mesothelioma in March 2010. He tells young apprentices to take the threat of asbestos seriously and to treat it as a genuine danger.

We hope that as many lecturers and others responsible for training apprentices as possible will make good use of the materials available to raise awareness of asbestos in the workplace and the dangers of developing an asbestos-related disease many years down the line.

This is a fantastic tribute to Dave Doyle and the many more men and women who have died from mesothelioma or other asbestos diseases caused by their work.

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