Asbestos Awareness – Are you covered?

Asbestos – Know the risks

In total around 5,000 people per year die of asbestos related diseases. A rate that is reportedly at crisis levels.  The rate of mesothelioma – a horrible cancer affecting the lining of the chest or abdominal cavities that is almost always fatal – has nearly doubled over the past twenty years.  Some 85% of those diagnosed were men.

Workers can easily be exposed without knowing it – either from their own activities or work tasks undertaken by other people.   If you enter a building built before 2000 then it’s likely to be full of asbestos. It was used in practically every building material – floors, walls, ceilings, insulation, electrical products – the list is seemingly endless.

And, it’s very easy to unwittingly disturb these lethal fibres.  A wide range of routine maintenance tasks that are apparently low risk can easily release asbestos fibres.  For example, simply drilling or sanding a surface can make the fibres airborne.  To compound the problem, it may not be your own work task that disturbs the asbestos.  You just need to be in the general area where someone is disturbing it, and you are at risk.

Okay, so the need for asbestos awareness training for all construction and trades workers is clear. But why does it have to be repeated on such a regular basis? Typically refreshed annually.

asbestos wordcloud

Asbestos Awareness is a legal requirement!

First off, it’s a legal requirement – Regulation 10 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 says that not only does asbestos awareness training have to be provided, but it has to be given on a frequent basis – which is typically interpreted as meaning once per year.   The thinking behind this frequency of training lies in the fact that it’s a hidden killer, and, that the majority of workers do not knowingly work with asbestos. Training science shows that we tend to forget information quite quickly following a training course – especially if this is information that we do not use on a regular basis, which is the case with asbestos.

For these reasons it’s crucial that it’s renewed regularly.  If it’s not, then people are likely to forget, and this ignorance, as the health statistics show, can prove fatal.   So, asbestos awareness training for all construction and tradespeople is not only essential, it’s also important that it’s renewed on a frequent basis so that workers are given the knowledge they need to protect themselves from this hidden killer.

How can CHAS help?

CHAS have partnered with Human Focus to provide all CHAS contractors discounted rates on training, for more information about a UKATA approved asbestos awareness training course please fill out the form below and a member of the Human Focus team will be in contact to offer advice on training required.

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