Prior to the mid-1980s, asbestos was widely used in the production of building materials for both residential and commercial construction. Everything from roofing tiles to flooring to electrical wire insulation was made from asbestos. Even though it has been banned, people certified in the handling of asbestos materials are still in demand to handle various construction projects.
When asbestos is found in an older home or commercial property, it needs to be removed so it never causes anyone harm. Exposure to asbestos can lead to a disease called mesothelioma, which is a form of lung cancer. It can also cause other types of cancers or respiratory ailments, even though these diseases may not be diagnosed for decades after asbestos exposure.
Workers certified in the handling of asbestos are needed for remediation when this material is found on properties. The certification process trains remediation workers how to recognise asbestos, how to identify friable and non-friable forms of the material, and how to protect themselves and their coworkers while working around it. They are also trained in methods to safely remove asbestos and dispose of it without endangering the public.
Workers who have experience working with asbestos can advance in their careers and work as asbestos surveyors for construction companies or consultancy firms. The surveyor inspects properties to see if there is asbestos present and, if it is found, he or she reports on how much is present, what type of asbestos is on the property, and the condition that it is in. Then the surveyor may try to get his or her company hired to take care of the remediation for the client.
Being a surveyor requires additional training, but these jobs are always in demand since asbestos was so widely used. Along with surveying properties, asbestos surveyors may work at water treatment plants, for environmental consultancy firms, as well as with construction businesses. If you are certified in handling asbestos or hold the certifications required of surveyors, then you will usually find asbestos jobs via Future Select.
The work surveyors do is very important as they help identify the forms of asbestos used in a building, which informs remediation workers how they need to handle the materials. While some asbestos can be soaked with water prior to removal and disposal to keep fibres out of the air, other forms have to be treated differently so that workers and the public are not exposed to it and develop asbestos-related diseases later in life. As part of their work, surveyors have extensive training in order to get the proper credentials to do their jobs.
Whether you are certified in asbestos remediation techniques or have qualifications as an asbestos surveyor, you should be able to find work through a recruitment agency or online job boards. Nearly 50% of all the older buildings in the UK contain asbestos and it was widely used in other industries, such as the shipping industry. With its use so widespread, there will be a demand for asbestos workers for several years.