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10/12/2012

75 NI Asbestos Deaths A Year

Up to 75 deaths per year in Northern Ireland have asbestosis and/or mesothelioma as the primary or secondary cause of death, according to the General Register Office.

There are a further 40 lung cancer deaths per year in which asbestosis and/or mesothelioma has played a contributing factor.

The news comes as the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland launches a new training scheme.

'Asbestos Training Pledge NI' is free to enrol and will run for 12 weeks from 7 January to 29 March 2013.

Asbestos is likely to be found in properties built before 2000 and is commonly located in ceiling tiles, coating on ceilings, walls and as pipe insulation.

Those responsible for the maintenance and repair of non-domestic premises have a legal duty to protect against the material.

HSENI's Head of Workplace Health, Cyril Anderson, said: "Everyone should avoid working with asbestos if possible. But, if you need to work with asbestos then make sure you have proper training before you start.

"By raising awareness of the dangers of asbestos and by promoting measures to help reduce its harmful effects, we can help protect the health of our workforce, and save lives.

"Asbestos Training Pledge NI offers a great opportunity to learn more about the dangers from asbestos and follows on from HSENI's 'Hidden Killer' and 'Duty to Manage' awareness campaigns.

"I'd encourage everyone who through their work may come into contact with asbestos to take advantage of this free training and to book a place today."

(IT/GK)

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