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UKATA Director set to address European Asbestos Forum Conference 2017
September Forum will focus on Asbestos & Industry

The UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) Director Professor Roger J Willey has been invited to address the third international conference of the annual European Asbestos Forum (EAF) on Tuesday 26 September 2017. The forum gets underway with workshops on 25 September at the Hilton Canary Wharf Hotel in London. The event runs prior to The Contamination Expo, taking place 27-28 September at The London  ExCeL, where UKATA are show partners.   

The European Asbestos Forum aims to improve international professional networks and the exchange of the best knowledge regarding all matters related to asbestos across sectors and borders. The conference will feature a multidisciplinary program with over twenty speakers and specialists of global repute from many sectors, with the main theme of the conference being ‘Asbestos & Industry’. Throughout the day, the main theme will be explored from many different angles. Speakers will fly in from across Europe, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and possibly even Asia.

“Professor Willey is a global authority on asbestos, so a natural choice of speaker for this year’s EAF Conference,” said UKATA Marketing Officer, Victoria Castelluccio. “The conference focus is on sharing best practices and raising awareness which fits well with the UKATA Train Safe Work Safe, Keep Safe campaign. Professor Willey is one of the leading asbestos specialists in the world.” The founder of the EAF Foundation, Yvonne Waterman Ph.D. LL.M., agreed with prof. Willey that he would speak on the subject of perceived risk versus real risk. She explains: “Asbestos is a very emotional subject, as it touches on health and even death. But when making policy, safe work plans, sharing communications etc. it is important to truly understand the facts, to convey the facts properly and to act accordingly. It all begins with understanding.”

With over 35 years of industry experience, Professor Willey is recognised as one of the foremost experts on asbestos and hazardous materials in the world; undertaking speaking engagements worldwide and in demand as a respected expert witness in asbestos related court cases. This has included cases in Scotland; the High Courts of Ireland and Australia, as well as acting as Court Appointed Expert in the High Court in London. The Professor has served as Branch Chairman of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), as Advisor to the Secretary of State for Scotland on Sustainable Development and remains a Director of UKATA and sits on the National Executive Committee.

As well as looking at remediation in nuclear and petrochemical environments, innovations, best practices, and raising awareness for DIY and workers, the conference will also hear perspectives from medical, legal, insurance, denaturalisation and victim viewpoints. “I am very pleased to team up with the organisation behind the Contamination Expo”, Yvonne tells us excitedly. “Imagine: a top international asbestos conference followed by the fabulous Contamination Expo the very next day, practically next door – seriously, what’s not to like?”

Professor Willey’s keynote speech on asbestos in soils at the last year’s Contamination EXPO in October 2016, was so successful that the Professor was asked to deliver a second address to a packed auditorium. Many delegates admitted they had attended the event just to hear the Professor speak, so the Forum is in for a rare treat. “Roger’s presence will doubtless prove a major talking point among delegates as the event draws closer,” added Victoria. “His presentation at the European Asbestos Forum is part of our efforts to highlight the Train Safe Campaign for 2017.”

Now in its third year, the nationwide Train Safe, Work Safe, Keep Safe Campaign runs from 1 September to 31 October, with UKATA members pledging hours of free asbestos awareness training for one man bands, DIY enthusiasts and others who may be unable to afford such training or not even realise it exists.

Questions about the European Asbestos Forum may be addressed to Yvonne Waterman at yw@europeanasbestosforum.org Or take a look at www.europeanasbestosforum.org, which will be updated frequently.

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