Council to highlight danger of asbestos exposure

Calderdale Council

Wainhouse Tower is lighting up blue to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos and highlight the importance of health and safety at work.

The iconic Calderdale landmark will turn blue on the night of Friday 7 July for Action Mesothelioma Day.

Calderdale Council has pledged its support for the national Go Blue for Meso(external link) campaign to raise awareness of mesothelioma, the incurable cancer caused by breathing in asbestos dust; to pay tribute to everyone affected by this terminal disease; and to highlight its commitment to health and safety.

This is part of the Yorkshire and Humberside Asbestos Victims Support Group’s drive to light up as many iconic buildings as possible in blue.

Thousands of people across the country die from asbestos-related diseases every year. Symptoms(external link) typically appear several decades after exposure to asbestos, and include a persistent cough, chest pain and shortness of breath.

Asbestos was mainly used between the 1940s and 1970s, and although its use was later banned by the Government, it is estimated that 1.5 million workplaces still contain some form of asbestos-containing materials.

Cllr Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, said:

“Asbestos isn’t just a problem of the past. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) estimates that asbestos still kills around 5000 workers every year nationally, which is more than the number of people killed on the road.

“Mesothelioma is a cancer affecting the lining of the lungs and the lining surrounding the lower digestive tract. It is almost exclusively related to asbestos exposure and once diagnosed, tragically it’s often too late to do anything. That’s why it’s so important to protect yourself now, and for employers and building owners to exercise their duty of care to employees and communities by managing asbestos correctly. We’re backing the Go Blue for Meso campaign to share these important messages.”

Cllr Silvia Dacre, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Resources, added:

“We’re committed to keeping our staff and communities safe and well. Our teams work very carefully to meet the Council’s statutory duties under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, ensuring that no employee, contractor or member of the public is inadvertently exposed to asbestos fibres. We also have a dedicated Health and Safety team that provides all kinds of work-related health advice, training, inspections and policies.

“The tragedy of the deaths related to the asbestos-processing factory in Hebden Bridge, which operated from 1939 and was investigated in the 1970s, demonstrates the importance of taking health and safety at work seriously. On this Action Mesothelioma Day, it’s important to acknowledge the role that local people played in exposing the devastating issue of asbestos exposure.”

To support Action Mesothelioma Day, please visit link) and follow #GoBlueForMeso on social media.

For advice on managing asbestos, go to link)

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