Asbestos Awareness Training Course

Course Overview

To provide candidates with the skills to identify the possible location of asbestos together with knowledge of what to do in the event of asbestos discovery.  

Who needs this qualification? Asbestos awareness training is required to be given to employees whose work could foreseeably  expose them to asbestos. In particular, it should  be given to all demolition workers and those workers in the refurbishment, maintenance and allied trades where it is foreseeable that their work will disturb the fabric of the building because ACMs may become exposed during their work. Exemption from this requirement would apply only where the employer can demonstrate that work will only be carried out in or on buildings free of ACMs. This information should be available in the client’s asbestos management plan.

Why is this training important? Adequately trained staff will reduce the risk of asbestos related illness within the organisation as well as ensuring that correct procedures are followed to ensure that employees or others are not adversely affected.

The HSE  state; “This training is for those workers who plan to carry out any work with asbestos that does not require a licence and who may knowingly disturb lower risk asbestos containing materials. It should be provided in addition to asbestos awareness training and should be job specific“.    

Learning outcomes.                                                  

  •  History of asbestos, uses, properties
  • The properties of asbestos and its effects on health, including the increased risk of lung cancer for asbestos workers who smoke
  • Legislation
  • Recognition of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM`s)
  • The types, uses and likely occurrence of asbestos and ACMs in buildings and plant;
  • Control Limits
  • PPE & RPE )Including practical maintenance and checks of RPE)
  • Waste management & Disposal
  • The general procedures to be followed to deal with an emergency, for example an uncontrolled release of asbestos dust into the workplace.
  • How to avoid the risks from asbestos, for example for building work, no employee should carry out work which disturbs the fabric of a building unless the employer has confirmed that ACMs are not present.

Course details.   The Course is 2 Hours duration and will be delivered at our own training facility or your own premises. Delegates will receive a Handout Pack and Course Outline for use on the day. Delegates will also receive a Certificate of Attendance within a week of the event. All courses are fully evaluated using our own documentation, but in-house evaluation methods can be used if preferred. 

Please contact us for a quote for the course to be held on your premises.

 UKATA Asbestos Awareness (Category A) – now available.

Surrey firm in court after asbestos find at girls’ school

A building contractor has been fined for ignoring asbestos safety rules after the potentially deadly material was discovered in a basement area at the independent Woldingham girls’ school in Caterham.

Buxton Building Contractors Ltd, which was carrying out refurbishment work at the school in 2011, had commissioned a specialist survey to identify the presence of asbestos in the undercroft part of the building, but then failed to act when the results were positive.

The firm allowed a number of different contractors, including a teenage apprentice, to work in the area until one worker raised the alarm himself when he broke through the ceiling and exposed asbestos insulation boarding.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident, which came to light on 21 July 2011, and today (13 January) prosecuted the company for safety breaches.

Guildford Crown Court was told that Buxton Building Contractors Ltd was the principal contractor for a scheme to remodel the school’s dining area and kitchen. The firm had asked a surveyor to look specifically at the undercroft area as it had been omitted from an earlier asbestos report.

HSE’s investigation found the survey had highlighted the presence of the hazardous material, however, Buxton Building Contractors had failed to act either to deal with it or to provide any safeguards on site. It had allowed unrestricted access by a variety of other workers, including a 19-year-old apprentice electrician who had been working in the undercroft for at least two weeks.

After the worker discovered the presence of the asbestos insulation board, the area was sealed off by a licensed asbestos contractor. 

Buxton Building Contractors Ltd, of High Street, Caterham, Surrey, was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £26,217 after admitting a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to plan, manage and properly monitor the construction work at the school. 

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Melvyn Stancliffe said: 

“This was a serious failing on the part of the company. Having correctly commissioned an asbestos survey, it looks as though no one at Buxton Contractors Ltd bothered to read it. Or if they did, they disregarded its contents and failed to act to protect site workers from exposure to what is one of the deadly killers in the construction industry.

“As a result, several people, including the young apprentice, were unnecessarily exposed to the risk of inhaling asbestos fibres.  One can only wish and hope that there are no serious consequences for these workers in the future.

“It is vital that companies are fully aware of not just the duty to get an asbestos survey done, but then to act on its findings. There is considerable guidance freely available from HSE to assist duty-holders deal with asbestos materials properly.”

Why is asbestos dangerous?

When these fibres are inhaled they can cause serious diseases which are responsible for around 4500 deaths a year. There are four main diseases caused by asbestos: mesothelioma (which is always fatal), lung cancer (almost always fatal), asbestosis (not always fatal, but it can be very debilitating) and diffuse pleural thickening (not fatal).

Asbestos fibres are present in the environment in Great Britain so people are exposed to very low levels of fibres. However, a key factor in the risk of developing an asbestos-related disease is the total number of fibres breathed in. Working on or near damaged asbestos-containing materials or breathing in high levels of asbestos fibres, which may be many hundreds of times that of environmental levels can increase your chances of getting an asbestos-related disease.

Asbestos related diseases won’t affect immediately but later on in life, so there is a need for you to protect yourself now to prevent you contracting an asbestos-related disease in the future. It is also important to remember that people who smoke and are also exposed to asbestos fibres are at a much greater risk of developing lung cancer.

Asbestos related disease

There are four main diseases associated with inhalation of asbestos fibres.

The latest figures for diseases associated with occupational exposure to asbestos many years ago, are summarised in the following table.

Deaths from mesothelioma (Mesothelioma register 2011) 2 291
Estimated asbestos related lung cancer deaths (2011) 2 000*
Deaths from asbestosis without mention of mesothelioma (Asbestosis register 2011) 429
Newly assessed cases of asbestosis (IIDB 2012) 980
Newly assessed cases of diffuse pleural thickening (IIDB 2012) 460
Estimated number of cases of non malignant pleural disease reported to specialist physicians (THOR/SWORD 2012) 686

*This figure has been rounded because it is an estimate rather than the number of actual deaths.

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Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0’.