Asbestos Awareness Training, what you need to know….
As usual, 1974 is taking a common-sense approach to dispel H&S myths, this time Asbestos awareness training.
Is it a mandatory requirement to have asbestos Awareness training?
“Asbestos awareness training should be given to employees whose work could foreseeably disturb the fabric of a building….. workers in the refurbishment, maintenance and allied trades where ACMs may be exposed during their work. This includes demolition construction workers, maintenance staff, electricians; plumbers, gas fitters, painters and decorators, joiners, shop fitters, plasterers, roofers, heating and ventilation
engineers, telecoms engineers, caretakers…” (CAR 2012 L143 Reg 10). The list goes on!
So, If you are a trades person working in older (pre 1999) buildings then yes, you need asbestos awareness training! Unless you can demonstrate that the building is Asbestos free.
Why do I need Asbestos training?
In the UK, we’re great at safety but not so good at health; Over 1.3 million tradesmen are at risk from the dangers of Asbestos and 5500 people die from Asbestos related ill health every year; simply unacceptable.
To halt and reverse this alarming trend; successive Asbestos Regulations have placed an emphasis on training as means of reducing possible asbestos exposure. In short, your Asbestos awareness can prevent you from becoming statistic.
Do I need accredited training?
The HSE does not require Asbestos training to be accredited, nor does the HSE endorse any particular awarding body or training organisation. Excellent quality, comprehensive training, provided by a competent and experienced trainer may be more beneficial than “branded” offerings.
So the short answer is no; but accreditation is one way of selecting a good training provider.
What should Asbestos Awareness training cover?
CAR2012 states that asbestos training should cover the properties of asbestos, effects on health, the types, uses, likely occurrence of ACMs in buildings and plant, emergency procedures, how to avoid the risks from asbestos.
At 1974 we firmly believe that Asbestos training should be relevant to your work environment, engaging, proportionate, very much “real life” and shouldn’t scare you to death!
Do I need an annual refresher training?
Again, no! Asbestos training should be delivered at appropriate intervals. If 12 months is appropriate to your line of work then great, if not then don’t waste your time and money simply to tick a box. Some organisations add a 12-month expiry date to certification, or, if your client requires training every 12 months… then that is a hoop that you’ll have to jump through regardless.
Following Awareness training, can I work with Asbestos?
Working with Asbestos is a tightly controlled, specialist sector and should be left to the experts. Additional training can allow you to work with lower risk “non licenced” materials however other measures must also be put in place.
Can I do online training or e-learning?
Yes, of course; but there’s no substitute for quality training delivered by an expert trainer. Can you ask a question to a PC and expect a honest answer formed by years of experience gained in the real world? If your future health depends on the standard of your training, why just conduct a tick box exercise?
How do you know if your asbestos training was effective?
Do now you now know what it can do to your health? Do you know when, where & why asbestos was used? Do you know how to keep yourself safe? Most importantly, can you recognise typical uses and locations of ACMs?... so that you never knowingly or accidentally disturb it.
Does one asbestos fibre kill?
Of course not! But even, low airborne concentrations to asbestos could lead to ill health; probably better to be safe than sorry and to avoid all potential exposures!