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Asbestos Exposure: Why is it Dangerous?

asbestos exposure: why is it dangerous
Asbestos Exposure: Why is it Dangerous?

Asbestos Exposure: Why is it Dangerous?

In this article, we will be talking all things Asbestos, exposure, why it’s dangerous, and what we can do to help you manage it.

So, what is asbestos?

According to the Health and Safety Authority, “Asbestos is the name for a group of natural occurring mineral fibres which are strong and both heat and chemically resistant. Due to these properties, asbestos was commonly used in the past as insulation and fire proofing. It was also used as a component in other building materials.”

Where is it found?

Asbestos can be found in any premises built or refurbished before the year 2000. This includes both commercial and residential properties. Asbestos can also be found in a range of construction materials, including flooring, walls, ceiling, etc. A detailed survey would be needed to determine exactly where asbestos is present throughout the building.

Why is asbestos dangerous?

Asbestos is dangerous due to its ability to release microscopic fibres into the air when disturbed. These fibres are extremely durable and can remain suspended in the air for long periods of time. When inhaled or ingested, they can penetrate deep into the lungs or other organs, causing serious health problems.

The primary health risk associated with asbestos exposure is the development of asbestos-related diseases. These diseases include:

  1. Asbestosis: Prolonged exposure to asbestos fibres can lead to the scarring of lung tissue, known as asbestosis. This condition causes progressive lung damage, leading to breathing difficulties, persistent coughing, and increased susceptibility to respiratory infections.
  2. Mesothelioma: Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. It has a long latency period, often taking several decades for symptoms to appear after initial exposure.
  3. Lung cancer: Asbestos exposure also increases the risk of developing lung cancer. When asbestos fibres are inhaled, they can irritate and damage lung tissue, potentially leading to the development of cancerous cells.
  4. Other cancers: Besides lung cancer and mesothelioma, asbestos exposure has been linked to an increased risk of developing cancers in other organs, such as the larynx, ovary, and gastrointestinal tract.

It is important to note that there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. Even a single exposure to asbestos fibres can pose a potential risk to health. Therefore, strict regulations and precautions are necessary to minimize exposure to asbestos and prevent its adverse health effects.

We are a leading provider of asbestos management and refurbishment surveys and related services throughout Ireland. In addition to surveys we provide identification advice, removal support, asbestos laboratory analysis, asbestosis information, etc. Our asbestos consultants identify and assess the risks posed by asbestos in the workplace in accordance with Irish legislation and current best practice.

Once your asbestos has been removed or encapsulated, our consultants will issue your site clearance certificate. This is essential in ensuring legislative compliance to ensure you pass inspection and avoid costly delays. Our clearance certification also provides assurance to you, your employees, and all third parties that the area is asbestos-free/safe.

Get in Touch

Our expert team are always on hand to answer any questions you may have.


A Look Inside Our IOSH Explosion Safety Management Course

About our IOSH Explosion Safety Management Course

IOSH Explosion Safety Management Course
IOSH Explosion Safety Management Course

Explosions may be rare, but they can cause catastrophic results when they occur. Effects can include injury, loss of life, damage to property, environmental impact, and of course, significant financial costs.

When we think of explosions, it’s easy to focus on the industries and areas classed as “high risk”. It’s interesting to note, however, that 25-50% of explosions occur in industries we would generally class as “low risk”. At times, people do not fully appreciate that even small quantities of flammable material can be very hazardous.

With that in mind, it’s important to stay educated and prepared for potential explosions in the workplace.

Our Explosion Safety Management Course is accredited by the Institution of Operational Safety aka IOSH. The purpose of the course is to give participants technical knowledge on ignition sources, flammability data, explosion prevention safety, base principals of different types of protection and more.

The course will also detail the essentials of the EU ATEX regulations and how you can design an assessment for an explosive atmosphere.

The course covers a total of 10 modules over a 3-day period, with a written assessment and home assignment towards the end.

So who is this course for?

This course is aimed at anyone who requires the core knowledge to work safely in potentially explosive atmospheres. These personnel may include:

  • Health & Safety Managers
  • Project Managers
  • Engineers
  • Maintenance Workers
  • Plant Supervisors

This course is proudly delivered by Safety Engineers with a wealth of first-hand experience. The content is taught in an interactive manner with practical examples used throughout.

If you think you or your team could benefit from taking our IOSH Explosion Safety Management Course, get in touch today at [email protected]. This course is offered both on a public and a private basis.


Our ERT Stand-By Service: Everything you need to know

Our ERT Stand-By Service: Everything you need to know

Our ERT Stand-By Service: Everything you need to know

We are proud to have a team of full-time professional fire service personnel on-hand here at Chris Mee Group. Our team regularly stand in on projects as the dedicated Emergency Response Team, whether it be during maintenance works, or a one off-project. In this article, we’re going to share with you exactly what we offer during our stand-by services and how you can get started.

  • Our team dedicates time to setting up the relevant equipment in the days leading up to the commencement of cover.
  • We provide trained ERT staff on a 24/7 basis for the duration of the project.
  • We work with both marine and land based projects.
  • Our team can offer support services such as confined space rescue, rescue at height, provision of first aid, and liaison with emergency response agencies as/when required.
  • Our company provides all necessary equipment for the duration of the E.R.T stand-by service.
  • We can tailor your E.R.T support package to suit the needs of your project. Some services we have previously included: provision of safe pass training, confined space entry, chemical safety, and more. We can also design and provide site safety auditing services, customized to your project.

Our ERT stand-by service ensures your project runs smoothly and safely from start to finish. 

Get in Touch

Our specialist team are always happy to answer any questions you may have in relation to our services.


Legionella Bacteria: Risk Factors That Contribute To Growth In Water Systems

Legionella Bacteria: What are the Risk Factors?


Legionella is a type of bacteria that can cause a severe form of pneumonia. This form of pneumonia is known as Legionnaires’ disease. The bacteria was first identified in 1976 when an outbreak of pneumonia occurred among people attending an American Legion convention in Philadelphia.

Legionella bacteria is commonly found in freshwater environments, such as lakes and rivers. It can also be found in man-made water systems such as cooling towers, hot tubs, and water tanks. The bacteria can multiply in warm water environments and can be transmitted to people through inhalation of contaminated water droplets.

Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease typically includes fever, chills, cough, and muscle aches, which can progress to severe pneumonia. The disease can be fatal in some cases, particularly among people who have underlying health conditions.

There are several risk factors that can cause the formation of this bacteria in water systems. Some of the most common risk factors include:

  1. Stagnant water: Legionella bacteria thrive in warm, stagnant water. Water systems that are not frequently used can become ideal conditions for bacterial growth.
  2. Water temperature: Legionella bacteria grow best in water temperatures between 20°C and 50°C. Water systems that are operated at these temperatures can create favorable conditions for bacterial growth.
  3. Sediment and biofilm build-up: Legionella bacteria can attach themselves to sediment and biofilm build-up in water systems, allowing them to grow and spread more easily.
  4. Poorly designed or maintained water systems: Water systems that are not properly designed, installed, or maintained can create conditions conducive to the growth of Legionella bacteria.
  5. Contaminated water sources: Legionella bacteria can enter water systems through contaminated water sources, such as lakes and rivers, and can spread rapidly if not properly treated.
  6. Lack of water treatment: Water systems that are not properly treated with disinfectants or other water treatment chemicals can allow for bacterial growth.

We regularly carry out Legionella Risk Assessments for businesses throughout Ireland.

The Legionella Risk Assessment includes such specific items as follows:

  • Identifying and assessing likely sources of risk
  • Recommending schemes to help control the risk
  • Suggesting a suitable routine monitoring program
  • Clarifying lines of responsibility
  • Identifying training deficiencies
  • Providing recommendations

If you would like to arrange a Legionella Risk Assessment for your workplace, get in touch here.


ERT Stand-By Service Case Study: ESB Networks

The Situation: Rescue & Safety Services Needed for a Major Power Plant Overhaul Project

ERT Stand-By ServiceESB Dublin Bay Power Plant (formerly known as Synergen), is a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) power generating station consisting of a single shaft configuration with one Alstom GT26B gas turbine, one Stork horizontal flow heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) boiler and a three stage Alstom steam turbine with intermediate reheat. The gas turbine has duel fuel capability and can operate on both Natural Gas and Distillate Oil. The plant was commissioned in 2002 and has been primarily in operation as a base load plant.

A major overhaul of the power plant was undertaken in September 2016. One of the Health and Safety requirements for the project was for 24/7 emergency response cover during the 2 month project. The scope also included the active involvement of the ERT services in the entire safety effort as the numbers of personnel increased from an average of 30 to over 300 personnel onsite. 

The Solution: Chris Mee Group Stand-By ERT Services

ERT Stand-By ServiceOur team have provided a customized ERT Stand-By Service for a variety of industry sectors including State Bodies, Pharmaceutical, Oil & Gas, Marine and more. Clients include Henkel, Glanbia, Almac, Atkins Global, The HSA, and Leo Pharma, among others. We also provide advanced Marine STCW and Fire & Rescue Training to many shipping and offshore companies. These clients include Stena Lines, Commissioner of Irish Lights, Kinsale Energy Offshore (formerly Marathon), Shell and many more.

Working with Chris Mee Group

ERT Stand-By ServiceWe supplied an ERT of eight personnel to the Ringsend site working a four-shift cycle for the entire 44-day project. A minimum of two rescue personnel were on site at any one time with more available on call depending on site requirements. The Chris Mee Group rescue personnel carried out task-specific risk assessments for use within the various confined spaces throughout the plant. We also supplemented the fit out of both the Rescue Centre and First Aid room with essential equipment. This included radios, BA sets, harnesses, tripods and a vehicle to carry rescue equipment and speed up response times.

The Chris Mee Group rescue personnel liaised with the local authority emergency services and adapted to their norms of practice at all times. They also carried out evacuation and rescue exercises with the local authority emergency services during the project. The Chris Mee Group personnel were also available to provided relevant safety advice, mentoring and training during the project including: CPR/OFA (Observers/Permit Access), Manual Handling, Confined Space Entry, Working at Height and Safepass training. Chris Mee Group personnel also reviewed fire watches and hot work location, and carried out routine checks of fire points and ventilation systems. With all of these services managed by our team, the two ESBI onsite safety officers were free to focus on managing and coordinating the overall site safety for the Project Supervisor Construction Stage (PSCS).

Emergency Response Teams – Stand-By Services For Hire

ERT Stand-By Service

Our service is unique in that we provide clients with Stand-By ERT Services on a contract basis. Our ERT members are full-time professional fire service personnel, who provide Stand-By ERT Services on a contract basis. We provide our services for both marine and land-based projects. We have completed Stand-By ERT Services for clients such as Henkel, Glanbia, Almac, Atkins Global, The HSA and Leo Pharma. Each ERT service is designed to fit the needs of the client and stakeholders.

Get in touch today to discuss how we can work together!   

Email Enquiry:  [email protected] 
Dublin Office: +353 1 517 5270  
Cork Office: +353 21 497 8100