Free Asbestos Awareness Training for Tradesmen
Back in March of this year we brought you some information about the dangers of asbestos, especially for those of us who work in the construction industry. Although the use of asbestos was totally banned in new buildings in 1999, this perilous substance has been used so much for building work in years gone by that it will continue to present us with problems for many years to come. Here at Safety Fabrications we really cannot stress the risks associated with asbestos enough and asbestos awareness training really is a must nowadays for anybody working in the construction industry. Asbestos exposure is still killing around 20 tradesmen every week in the UK, a figure that is unacceptable and something that we need to eliminate in the future.
The UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) was formed as a trading association in 2007 with a remit to set standards, audit and manage a list of asbestos training providers here in the UK. In 2008 the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) passed the responsibility for managing the list of training providers for licensed asbestos work to UKATA. If asbestos training has not been provided by a UKATA member, then enforcing officers can ask asbestos licence holders to demonstrate how Chapter 4 of the Licensed Contractors’ Guide has been complied with. UKATA is responsible for monitoring the training standards of all of its members and the association provides the benchmark of standards that asbestos training providers are required to achieve and maintain.
It’s a legal requirement that anybody who may come across asbestos in their day to day work should have undergone asbestos awareness training as asbestos is still the biggest single cause of work related fatalities here in the UK. Raising awareness of the dangers of asbestos is essential, more so for those working in the construction industry. In 2015 UKATA members pledged to provide more than 3,500 hours of free asbestos awareness training and are doing so again this year. This means that there are free asbestos awareness training courses available for small businesses, sole traders and even DIY enthusiasts.
As part of the Train Safe, Work Safe, Keep Safe campaign developed by UKATA to underpin its ongoing commitment to emphasise the importance of sourcing a competent training provider. The HSE advises that workers and supervisors should be trained to recognise Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) and know exactly what to do if they come across any.
On selected dates in September and October of this year a number of UKATA members who are training providers will offer free training to smaller traders and individuals as a method of highlighting the dangers of asbestos and exposure to asbestos fibres. This initiative has the potential to save so many lives as thousands of British tradespeople have had no asbestos training at all and this will play a key role in making sure that the training is delivered to those who need it the most.