On 6th March, the North Western Branch held an Asbestos Symposium at Halton Stadium in Widnes. The day aimed to establish a shared understanding of the hazard and risk posed by fire plumes which contain asbestos fibres, to establish the roles and capabilities of each agency involved with such an incident and to explore the expectations of affected communities in these situations.
Both IFE members and non-members alike attended this event, with guests from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, emergency planners from the local authority and commercial asbestos waste contractors all in attendance.
The symposium started with Stuart Devereux, Station Manager at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, as he gave a presentation on the service’s response to fires involving asbestos. Mike Shaw from Bureau Veritas also presented on the day, giving a talk on understanding asbestos and the risks posed. Finally, amongst other guest speakers, the audience heard from Keith Robbins from Cheshire Police. Keith talked about the roles and responsibilities of the police in asbestos-related incidents.
After a day of informative talks and discussions, delegates came away with a greater understanding of the risks posed by asbestos and the expectations and capabilities of their organisations and the organisations of others.