A firm that has been at the forefront of tackling the world’s number one cause of work-related deaths for over two decades is championing a global asbestos awareness campaign in Northamptonshire.
Every day, leading asbestos consultancy Acorn Analytical Services works tirelessly to help businesses and individuals manage their asbestos safely to stop people’s lives being put at risk by the hazardous substance.
It also supports numerous charities that help those affected by asbestos-related diseases and tries to educate the public through its regular podcasts, blogs and social media posts.
This month, it is championing the 17th annual Global Asbestos Awareness Week – a seven-day event running from April 1 to April 7 which is designed to increase awareness of the dangers of asbestos.
Throughout the week, the team at Acorn Analytical Services is running a campaign called ‘What Does Asbestos Mean to Me?’. The campaign will share the experiences and personal stories of those working in the field, campaigners and patients suffering from asbestos-related diseases through social media and the company’s website.
Company director Neil Munro said: “Every year, around 90,000 individuals die from asbestos-related diseases around the globe and asbestos exposure remains the world’s number one cause of work-related deaths.
“Even though the use of asbestos in the UK was banned in 1999 it was used extensively during the second half of the 20th century and as many as 1.5 million properties here still contain the ‘hidden killer’, including houses, factories, offices, schools and hospitals.
“As a result, on average 5,000 people in the UK die from asbestos-related diseases each year. What makes this even more tragic is this figure could be radically reduced if we all became more aware of the dangers of asbestos.
“If you own a property that was built before 1999 it may contain asbestos. If that’s the case, you have a legal duty to ensure the material is managed safely. If you fail to do this not only are you potentially putting lives at risk; you could be prosecuted and face huge fines, court costs and even a prison sentence.
“We hope by supporting Global Asbestos Awareness Week we can encourage the public to be on the alert for asbestos in their everyday lives – not only in their own properties but also when they’re visiting public buildings – so together we can save more lives.”
This is not the first time that Acorn Analytical Services has hit the headlines for its pioneering work. As well as producing insightful podcasts about asbestos, the firm has also released a best-selling book called ‘Asbestos The Dark Arts’ and produced an A5 video card to bring the subject to life. The three pieces of work were so ground-breaking for the industry that they helped the company to win the Innovation Award at the Northamptonshire Business Excellence Awards in 2019.
Company director Ian Stone added: “We’re passionate about raising awareness of asbestos because we know how terrible its consequences can be. Asbestos is a known carcinogen and there is no safe level of exposure. Countless scientific studies have proven exposure to asbestos causes a range of cancerous and non-cancerous diseases – many of which have no known cure.
“This is why we’ve also recently launched a free Asbestos Review Surgery service which offers firms a 30-minute video call so they can get the advice they need to help them manage their asbestos safely without worrying about the cost.”
Global Asbestos Awareness Week was launched by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organisation in 2004 and has the backing of the World Health Organisation and the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health. To find out more visit the website or call 0844 818 0895.