QR codes as asbestos warning labels

Do you get alarmed when you see an asbestos warning sign?  It can be confronting to think there are asbestos-containing materials under your feet, for example.

In general, if asbestos is in good condition and isn’t disturbed, it is not a risk.  But it’s a different story if someone starts breaking into it!  That’s why the Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations require asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) to be labelled, as far as reasonably practicable.

But who is the labelling for?  Is it for the office worker, to caution them against opening the electrical cabinet or changing a gasket on the air conditioning unit?  Clearly not.  The labelling is primarily to warn tradespeople of the risk.

For the most part, tradespeople go where the normal office worker doesn’t go, so an asbestos warning sign in the plant room isn’t going to cause undue concern.  However, we do hear people expressing concern about putting labels where everyone can see them, e.g. above head height warning of asbestos in the ceiling cavity.

There is an alternative: to use a QR code linked to the survey data that can be scanned.

MCG would be interested to hear your thoughts:  Would you be uncomfortable seeing an asbestos warning label?  Would you rather see a discreet QR code?  Let us know!

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