Lesley Griffiths, Wales government minister for communities and tackling poverty, is actively trying to reduce the contraction of asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma by calling for stricter and more comprehensive asbestos education and preventative measures.
Her actions include writing to every local authority and registered social landlord in Wales urging them to ensure contractors are completely aware of any asbestos that could be present in a property before any maintenance work is started.
Additionally, Griffiths has informed organisations that they should be cautious of relying on sample asbestos surveys as they only check a number of homes so may not be reliable. She also highlighted the importance of ensuring workers are fully trained in how to spot asbestos and how it should be dealt with.
In her letter, Griffiths wrote, "I would like to emphasise the need for action to minimise the risk for both tenants and for those who work in the repair and maintenance of social housing.
"Where contractors are used by a social landlord for improvement works it is important for information from surveys and the asbestos register to be passed to the contractor in a timely and accurate manner."
While the lengthy latency period between exposure to asbestos and the development of asbestos-related diseases may make the potentially lifesaving actions of Griffiths hard to measure, increased awareness and preventative measures should have a positive effect.