Despite clear guidance from The Health & Safety Executive (HSE), thousands of employers are still neglecting their responsibilities by not insisting on essential asbestos training for their workforce.
Regardless of the size of a company, there is a legal requirement to prevent exposing employees and the public to asbestos by ensuring it is identified on site prior to commencing work.
A lack of knowledge and training means the HSE continue to investigate a substantial number of cases each year in the UK which lead to prosecution, due to breaching Regulation 5 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012
Employers are required to assess training needs for their staff, ensuring the correct level is delivered.
Asbestos awareness training is required to be given to employees whose work could foreseeably expose them to asbestos. In particularly, it should be given to all demolition workers and those workers in the refurbishment, maintenance and allied trades where their work will disturb the fabric of the building and ACMs may become exposed.
Asbestos awareness training is not training to work with any forms of asbestos. A higher level of training is required for those that wish to intentionally work with the material.
Duty to manage asbestos training is for those responsible for the maintenance of non-domestic premises. It provides information on the requirement for the location of where asbestos is present in a building and what condition it is in. This would normally include, but is not limited to duty holder’s assistants, appointed persons assistants, building owners, landlords, sub-lessors, managing agents etc. and any person assisting duty holders in the compliance with CAR 2012 Regulation 4.
There are over a million construction workers in the UK, including those working on construction of new buildings and repairs or alterations to existing properties which may predate 2000. The importation, supply and use of all asbestos has been banned in the UK since 1999, meaning properties built or refurbished prior, may contain asbestos containing materials.
The number of construction workers doesn’t reflect the industry figures for asbestos training courses delivered. Asbestos training delivery took a dramatic dip throughout 2020/2021 during the Covid 19 pandemic, yet asbestos related health issues remain.
“The latency period of asbestos, coupled with a substantial drop in training numbers, could mean that the UK will be facing a greater number of deaths from asbestos over the next 15 – 60 years. To reduce this risk, it is important that delivery of asbestos training returns to pre-Covid levels.” said Chief Operating Officer, Craig Evans.
Deaths from asbestos exposure are at their peak after widespread use between 1950s and 70s. Since 2018, there have been more than 5,000 deaths annually in the UK from asbestos-related cancers – making it the largest single industrial killer ever seen in the UK.
Established in 2008, UKATA is a highly respected, leading authority on asbestos training. Our passion is to both maintain and improve asbestos training, ensuring the highest standards are upheld by means of continually monitoring UKATA training provided by our members.
UKATA continuously works within current legislation as a minimum, whilst collaborating with industry partners to ensure that the UK has the highest standards of asbestos safety.
UKATA freely shares knowledge and information both on our website and across social media, demonstrating that education remains our top priority.
To find a UKATA approved asbestos training provider near you, visit www.ukata.org.uk or for free advice call our team on 01246 824437.