Asbestos in the work place

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Asbestos in the work place

Postby charley » Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:08 pm

I hope this is the right place to post this
Basically I have just started a new job working in a party shop. Yesterday, I found that there were warning signs on parts of the walls and ceilings saying that the walls were built with asbestos based materials and not to cut into them, add and fixtures, make any holes etc. But they have been sticking things into it and making holes in it. Should I be worried about this? I'm starting to regret taking this job already. It is freezing cold in there, the only heat is provided by little heaters by the counters and in the staff room (the heat spreads about a meter away from the heater itself) so if you aren't in one of those three places you are freezing cold. I've already developed a cold from being in the cold so long! And they aren't very sympathetic to students (in fact one of the managers absolutely hates students)
Not really sure what to do about this :/
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Re: Asbestos in the work place

Postby denys » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:29 pm

Report it straight away to the health and safety executive, the walls should have been removed properly but maybe the owners arent willing to bear the cost. Just explain that despite the warning signs the walls are being used and you are worried, about the temperature there are laws about being forced to work when its too cold, but if the company is small, maybe you need to take extra precautions such as extra layers nice warm socks (thermal) if possible and fingerless gloves. Might just help :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed:
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Re: Asbestos in the work place

Postby charley » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:37 pm

They probably aren't willing, they're a small company, they only have 4 shops.
We aren't allowed to wear fingerless gloves. I will definitely try even more layers though. I haven't even told them about my fibro because they will probably try and sack me (one of the managers refuses to hire students [the other manager hired me] just because they want to go home over holidays) I tried asking for some time off over easter because I have to go to a wedding (which was obviously arranged WAY before I started, which was Monday by the way) and the manager was p***ed off at me for that :/ Am seriously reconsidering working there....
Thank you for the help Denys :)
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Re: Asbestos in the work place

Postby Iceskatemum » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:04 pm

Hi Charley

Not sure but seem to remember that given the asbestos is trapped in the walls it is very stable like that . It's more of an issue if the walls are cut or broken, the asbestos fibres can then get into the air and hence potentially be a health hazard.

You do have rights about temperature as an employer must ensure employees are able to work in a comfortable working environment and should the environment cause any potential problems he must provide appropriate personal protective clothing. Hence you see folk in the main supermarkets that work in the chiller/freezer section have gloves /warm gillet/fleece etc.

In the first place can you discuss the cold with collegues perhaps they know of additional heaters etc, if that doesn't work what about the "nice" manager, can you talk to them about your concerns & maybe see if you can wear more suitable clothing . Don't think you need to tell them about the Fibro you could just say that you "feel" the cold more than most & given the very bad weather we've been having you need to wear more/suitable clothes inc gloves .

Being new in to a place can be very daunting and sometimes issues that rear thier head in the first few days settle into the back ground as you get to know the place and your collegues .

However if you are still concerned about any of the issues do as Denys says and contact the H&SE for thier advice.

Good luck with the new job by the way, I know how hard it can be getting something . :-D
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Re: Asbestos in the work place

Postby charley » Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:41 pm

It looks like their are some holes in the walls, which is what I'm concerned about :/

That's a good idea :) I was speaking to one of the senior staff members today and she suggested some thermal stuff. But I've been given a uniform now, which includes a warm hoody, so it may be a bit better from now on :)

Thank you :) and as always, thanks for the advice :) x
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Re: Asbestos in the work place

Postby denys » Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:57 am

Glad you have the hoody, but if there are holes in the walls that are marked then you really need to report it because as said its the fibres that are so dangerous. :fingerscrossed: things improve for you :-D
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Re: Asbestos in the work place

Postby charley » Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:57 am

Thank you :) x
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