Tradesmen are at risk.

Jewson joins asbestos awareness campaign

Published:  13 November, 2009

COVENTRY: Jewson, the supplier of timber and building materials, has joined forces with the Health and Safety Executive to help warn tradesmen of the dangers of asbestos.

The national merchant’s network of 500 branches across the UK will be backing this year's 'Asbestos: the Hidden Killer' campaign, which takes place throughout November.

Jewson will be providing information leaflets to all its customers while running awareness videos on, which contain stark warnings to builders from ex-footballer Ian Wright and mesothelioma sufferer Chris Morgan.

Each week, approximately eight joiners, six electricians and four plumbers die from asbestos-related diseases, representing approximately 25% of the 4000 people who die every year.

Research shows that tradesmen in particular think that asbestos is a historical problem and they are not at risk, however asbestos may be present in any building constructed or refurbished before the year 2000, and it is estimated that around 500 000 workplace premises could still contain asbestos.

Steve Coldrick, HSE's asbestos programme director, said: "With this campaign we can educate today's workforce about the risks and what action they need to take to protect themselves from this deadly dust."

Kevin Crawley, health and safety director at Jewson added: "The risk of asbestos exposure is still very real, and with our network of branches and regular contact with thousands of people in the trade every day, we are in a position to communicate to those who are most likely to come into contact with asbestos within their work environment.

"Although asbestos is no longer used within the construction process it represents a real danger to those working on buildings created before 2000, of which there are many. It is crucial that we continue to push this message in order to reduce the number of fatalities it causes each year."

Radio advertisements running throughout the month of November will encourage tradesmen to get a free asbestos information pack by calling 0845 345 0055 or by visiting the government website.

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