Asbestos training being ignored, says UKATA
Training association says recent cases highlight importance of better awareness
Following recent stories of asbestos being mishandled across the country, the UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) has issued a warning that adequate training in asbestos safety management is being ignored by many, and the health of many workers may be being compromised.
The number of prosecutions brought by the HSE has been on the rise and many examples cite bad asbestos handling practice. Back in 2012, a businessman allowed the spread of asbestos in an industrial building by not using licensed contractors to remove the deadly material, whilst a builder was jailed recently for allowing himself and three other men to be exposed to asbestos fibres. In this latest incident, the builder in question removed a large amount of asbestos insulating board despite not holding a licence to work with such material.
“it is imperative that any tradesperson who may come across asbestos during the course of their work is aware of the legal requirement and furthermore knows how to protect themselves and those around them,” said Craig Evans, General Manager of UKATA. “Asbestos Awareness training is the absolute minimum requirement for anyone who may come into contact with the fibres although this level of training does not permit them to work with any forms of asbestos.”
As UKATA launches its latest Train Safe, Work Safe, Keep Safe initiative to offer small traders the opportunity to have some free asbestos safety training, there is no excuse for tradespeople to not be prepared.
“In the last few years our members have delivered over half a million asbestos training courses but we are all too aware there still thousands of tradespeople who have not received asbestos training of any kind,” Craig says. “They are at risk of coming into contact with deadly fibres if they inadvertently 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.”
“We need to raise awareness of the real dangers of asbestos exposure and let people know that it’s actually most definitely not a thing of the past. Stories like this will hopefully make them rethink how they deal with the substance,” concluded 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 more than 180 member organisations from all corners of the UK.
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