Asbestos Association’s free training initiative saves lives in 2017
As the third annual Train Safe, Work Safe, Keep Safe Campaign from The UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) came to a close, the Association is heralding another successful initiative that has delivered thousands of hours of free asbestos training to small business and sole traders nationwide. 1 September to 31 October saw UKATA members delivering free training designed to keep one-man bands and DIY enthusiasts safe from asbestos, a substance that remains the UK’s biggest workplace killer.
“The campaign was conceived to offer free asbestos awareness training to those who need it most and are least likely to be aware of the dangers, or able to afford training,” said UKATA General Manager Craig Evans. “With hundreds now educated in asbestos awareness as a consequence, the success of the campaign is undeniable. I want to thank all those UKATA members who took part and offered their services and expertise free of charge for such an important cause.”
The Train Safe, Work Safe, Keep Safe campaign delivered over 3,500 hours of free training in 2015 and 2016 and has now added to this total in 2017, with training delivered from the north of Scotland to the south of England; from Wales, to Northern Ireland in UKATA’s fight to end the 20 tradesmen who die every week from past exposure to asbestos. Lung damage caused by asbestos can lay dormant for up to 60 years, with diseases like mesothelioma responsible for the death toll amongst joiners, electricians, plumbers and other small traders. Figures released by The HSE in November show 2,542 Mesothelioma deaths in 2015, with a similar number of lung cancer deaths linked to past exposures to asbestos, meaning over 5,000 asbestos related deaths in this period. The rates are projected by HSE to remain the same for the rest of the decade.
“All too often, small traders are in the front line of asbestos exposure and this campaign removes cost as an excuse for not having the necessary training,” added Craig.
UKATA is the leading authority for asbestos training provision in the United Kingdom. Tasked by the HSE in 2008 to manage the licensed asbestos training providers, UKATA has gone from strength to strength and now has over 180 member organisations from all corners of the UK. For further information, visit www.ukata.org.uk or call 01246 824 437.