"It is a legal requirement that all who may come across asbestos in their day to day work have been provided with asbestos awareness training. If they will intentionally work on asbestos they must have had appropriate training specific to the tasks they will undertake."
Tradespeople running small businesses are to be offered free asbestos safety training that could save their lives, thanks to a national campaign by UKATA, the UK Asbestos Training Association.
Entitled ‘Train Safe, Work Safe, Keep Safe’, the campaign will see UKATA members offering free asbestos training during September and October this year as a means of highlighting the dangers of asbestos and the need for its careful handling.
It is to help you avoid becoming one of the 5,000 people in the UK who die from asbestos related cancer every year.
This campaign is predominantly aimed at small companies and individual tradespeople who may not otherwise have previously known about, or received such training.
Craig Evans, General Manager of UKATA, says: “In the past few years our members have delivered over half-a-million asbestos training courses but we are all too aware there are still thousands of tradespeople who have not received asbestos training of any kind.
"They are at risk of inadvertently coming into contact with deadly fibres if they disturb asbestos during building work and for this reason our members are generously offering free training at their own expense to individual tradespeople who may be unaware that such training exists.”
Every week in the UK, 20 tradespeople die from diseases caused by exposure to asbestos fibres as long ago as the 1950s through to 1983, when strict safety guidelines on the use and removal of asbestos were introduced.
People are still being exposed to asbestos as a result of ignorance or a cavalier attitude towards it during building restoration or demolition work.
Experts predict the UK’s annual death rate from asbestos exposure (currently 5,000) will soar in the next five years. Damage caused to the lungs by asbestos inhalation can lay dormant for up to 50 years and a huge number of late-stage cases are now being identified, says UKATA.
Tradespeople may be unaware of the regulations or cavalier about the dangers of asbestos, hence the free asbestos awareness training now.
Craig Evans: "UKATA and our members feel so strongly on this issue that we felt we had to collectively do something practical to help tackle the issues surrounding the lack of asbestos awareness amongst tradespeople.
“We can’t change the past but we can change attitudes now and we feel this is a great way to convey the message on the dangers of asbestos to the wider public.”
Mesothelioma alone is thought to be silently afflicting one in every 100 men born in the 1940s in the UK.
UKATA sets standards in asbestos training and ensures members meet those standards. It launched its new campaign, 'Train Safe, Work Safe, Keep Safe,' at the Safety & Health Expo at ExCel London 16-18 June.
UKATA will be promoting this free training opportunity with a national media campaign and has recruited Victoria Castelluccio as a Marketing Officer to be responsible for overseeing the initiative. She says: “My job is to ensure that our members receive the support they need to make the initiative a success and at the same time encourage tradespeople who are eligible to benefit from this free training to take full advantage of it.”
Full details about the free training are promised shortly on the UKATA website at the address below, or you can call UKATA on 01246 824437.