Video aims to raise awareness among construction workers who are unaware that asbestos kills more people than road accidents

The Health and Safety Executive has launched a video about the continuing threat of asbestos exposure, which still kills more people in the UK than road traffic accidents.

The video, which is being launched to coincide with Mesothelioma Day, features a carpenter named Tom King who has been diagnosed as terminally ill with the lung cancer.


Research by the Health and Safety Executive reveals that tradesmen know asbestos is dangerous but do not think they are at risk.

Around 4,000 people die in the UK every year because of asbestos exposure, and the figure is expected to peak at nearly 5,000.

Judith Hackitt, chair of the Health and Safety Commission, said: “Every week 20 tradesmen die simply because they have breathed in asbestos fibres during the course of their work. The problem today is that we associate it with a problem that’s been and gone, because asbestos is now banned. We regard asbestos as something a previous generation were exposed to.

“There is a real risk that the younger generation entering the workforce today will think this does not apply to them, but it does. If they work on any building built or refurbished before the year 2000, it could well contain asbestos.”

The video is part of the HSE’s ongoing campaign to raise asbestos awareness among building maintenance and repair workers.

Ucatt last week launched a postcard campaign in an attempt to reverse the Law Lords decision on ending compensation for people with pleural plaques, a scarring of the lungs caused by exposure to asbestos.