Content library update: Anthrax and working with historic plaster

by Alex on August 26, 2016

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Anthrax and historic plaster

Construction workers might be exposed to anthrax in some situations.

Identify and assess: The general risk of getting anthrax is very low. Workers may be at more risk in a number of situations including:

  • building on some types of old land; eg an old burial site with anthrax-infected carcasses or an old tannery where there may be a risk of soil contamination
  • crypt clearances involving the opening of coffins containing people who have died of anthrax
  • demolition of buildings where infected animal hair was used to bind the plaster


Prevent: For potentially hazardous sites, appropriate soil sampling/building material sampling and laboratory testing can give an indication of risk. Alternatively, you could adopt a precautionary approach and assume that anthrax spores are likely to be present. However, any spores are probably at low numbers which would not put the worker at significant risk and the simple hygiene controls described below will probably be enough.

Control: Where anthrax spores are known / assumed to be present, we’ve created a new risk assessment to control these risks which you can now find under the Drying lining, plastering or tape jointing and the Roofing category.

Antrax historic plasterwork


If you’d like to see any other content updated or added, let us know in the comments or at We’re always striving to make the best and most concise content available to our customers or if your new to HANDS HQ visit you can visit our website

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