Its estimated that up to half of private UK homes are likely to include building materials with asbestos in some form. So how can you complete an extension, garage conversion or refurbishment safely if you don’t know if your home is one of the 50%? Most likely, you don’t need to worry since professional building firms should be aware of the potential hazard and know how to recognise it and what to do. At Abbey Building Services and Maintenance, company owner, Richard Bamforth and his son Piers have just passed the latest Asbestos Awareness qualifications to keep our team and your home safe.

Many buildings built before the year 2000 used asbestos as a building material. It was widely used in ceiling coatings, boiler flues and other pipework, floor tiles, wiring and insulation from the mid-1900s onwards because of its heat and fire-resistant properties. It was banned in 1999 when it had been proven that asbestos carried unacceptable health risks. But homes built, even as recently as the 1990s may contain asbestos. That’s why building companies like ourselves stay informed to comply with Health and Safety Rule 10 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

The professional development course, which Abbey completed is run by UKATA, an approved asbestos learning provider. The course provides a firm factual basis for decision making and is specifically for builders supervising tradespeople including plumbers, carpenters and electricians who might come into contact with asbestos. It explains what work can be undertaken, how your team can protect themselves, when you need licensed specialists to remove asbestos and how you keep the home you’re working in free from contamination.

For Richard, Piers and the team, knowledge of asbestos risks is all part of taking pride in our work and looking after each other and our clients. Fortunately, it’s something that’s always on our radar so our clients don’t have to give it a moment’s thought.