German Hazardous Substance Protection Award 2018

The Waterways and Shipping Authority of the German city of Trier was granted the German Hazardous Substance Protection Award. In close cooperation with Dr Birgitta Höwing, Division Manager Consulting and Development of WESSLING Germany, this customer of WESSLING had developed a process for the remediation of buildings containing asbestos. The award went to a new process that enables low-emission work with asbestos contamination.

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Birgitta Höwing and WESSLING are asbestos professionals and have been supporting customers for decades with consulting and analysis. Asbestos is still an issue and in times of increased renovation and modernisation it is more topical than ever. Even though the dangers of the former "miracle fibre" have long been recognised and its use as a building material was banned in 1993, the dangerous fibres are now coming to light again during renovation work.

For the twelfth time now, the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is awarding prizes to good ideas for protection against hazardous substances. The motto this time, "Successful against asbestos". The Trier Waterways and Shipping Authority, WSA, as the public building owner, has drawn up a guideline for the handling of hazardous substances, in particular asbestos, in steel (water) structures of waterways. In addition, eight low-emission processes were developed for the decoating of old paintwork in hydraulic steel structures. The measurements were carried out at our Bochum location using the ultra-modern ZEISS Sigma scanning electron microscope (SEM).

The award honours innovative concepts and ideas for safety in activities involving asbestos in existing buildings. At the award ceremony a film about this idea was shown featuring an interview with Birgitta Höwing. The ideas of the competition will be presented to the professional public at the DASA Arbeitswelt exhibition in Dortmund.