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Erroneous PSA Asbestos Notice For Locksmiths
Despite Certified Safes Ireland™ alerting the Private Security Authority in 2019 that pre-2000 safes and cabinets should be presumed to contain asbestos, it has taken over three years, for the PSA to address this issue in relation to licensed locksmith activity, with PSA note 90: 2022.
Remarkably, this PSA note only focuses on the "sale" of pre-2000 “safes” that should be presumed to contain asbestos, and not on other products such as document and data cabinets, fire resistant filing cabinets and doors, products more likely to be serviced, maintained or emergency opened by a locksmith, and even more likely to contain asbestos.
Quite an oversight by the PSA for two reasons:
The first reason is, focusing solely on “sales of safes” completely ignores servicing, maintenance, and in particular emergency opening of secure storage and fire resistant products, which are not only activities covered by the PSA Locksmith Licence, but are activities that are highly likely to result in dust exposure, which in the case of asbestos, can lead to mesothelioma and other forms of cancer.
The second reason is the "Sale of Safes", the primary subject of the PSA note, does not strictly come under PSA remit, and is not an activity that most locksmith generally engage in day-to-day.
The PSA not mentioning any licensed locksmith services in the note is particularly worrying as, section 6.3 of the PSA Locksmith Licence, acknowledges that “emergency opening” of locks on safes, cabinets, and doors by licensed locksmiths can sometimes be destructive, while the likely presence of asbestos in pre-2000 products is not mentioned anywhere in the licence.
Even tiny amounts of asbestos dust can result in lung, laryngeal cancers, and malignant mesothelioma. The mesothelioma survival rate is typically 4–18 months after diagnosis.
Additionally, what little has been said on the subject of asbestos in the PSA note, would suggest that the PSA didn’t think it necessary to seek expert advice, to cross check its understanding of the facts, before issuing a note, on what is essentially, a matter of life and death for its licensees, and their clients.
For example: The Europe-wide ban on asbestos products came into effect in 2005, and not 2000 as stated in the note. Of course, the PSA would have been aware of this, and more pertinent facts, had they bothered to check with an available expert.
The fact that the PSA can’t issue reliable and timely advice on a serious health and safety matter related to an activity they license is concerning enough, but that the authority will dispense advice on the vectors for exposure to asbestos for the locksmith trade, without first consulting with experts in the field, or even checking basic facts, seems nothing short of wilful negligence, and must call into question what the PSA is bringing to the table, to ensure that their licensees and the general public, are properly informed and protected.