AGM 2023

Exciting Announcements Made at UKATA AGM

The UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) held their 15th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Friday 7th July 2023, at The Radisson Blu, East Midlands Airport Hotel to coincide with Action Mesothelioma Day.

Action Mesothelioma Day (AMD) is a national event to raise awareness of asbestos and mesothelioma, raise vital funds, support the research into tackling mesothelioma and to remember and support those who have been affected by asbestos-related cancer.

During the AGM, the current Chair, Graham O'Mahony, and Deputy Chair, Chris Bishop, were re-elected to the board of directors. Additionally, Chris Ivey from The Health & Safety People Ltd was elected by their peers during the meeting and joined the board of directors at the asbestos awareness level. Dean Platt, who previously served as a director at the non-licensable level, was thanked for his contributions to the association.

The board of directors is responsible for providing strategic direction and governance to the association.

Following the AGM, delegates had the opportunity to hear from three speakers who continuously campaign to raise awareness of the risks associated with asbestos exposure.

Dr. Yvonne Waterman, Founder and President of The European Asbestos Forum (EAF), was the first speaker. Prior to starting her session, Yvonne took the opportunity to announce the instatement of UKATA Chief Operating Officer, Craig Evans onto the board of advisors for the EAF, a position which recognises the efforts and contributions of Craig within the asbestos industry. Speaking of the announcement Craig said "I am honoured to be invited to join the board of advisors for the European Asbestos Forum (EAF). After being involved with UKATA for more than 10 years, I believe my knowledge and experience will enable me to make a valuable contribution in this role. I look forward to collaborating with the existing board of advisors to raise the profile of the EAF and achieve our shared goals”.

Dr Waterman’s talk was based on the recent legal case of Stephan Schmidheiny, a billionaire and director of Eternit, who was found guilty of the deaths of 3,000 people through asbestos exposure of former workers or inhabitants of four places where Eternit-Italy had its factories.

The next speaker was Liz Darlison MBE, a Consultant Nurse at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at De Montfort University, University of Leicester, and the University of Sheffield. Liz addressed the medical impact of asbestos in the UK today and serves as the Clinical Research Lead for Division 1 (Cancer) for the Clinical Research Network (CRN) East Midlands.

To conclude the event, mesothelioma patient Helen Bone shared her personal experiences in a session titled "It is what it is." Helen was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2021 and now dedicates her time to raising asbestos awareness, particularly emphasising that the disease affects women under 60 despite common misconceptions. Her session resonated with the audience, who admired her resilience and positive outlook despite her struggles.

Following the AGM, UKATA celebrated its 15th anniversary at the Excellence Awards. Hosted by former Olympic athlete Kriss Akabusi, the evening brought together UKATA-approved training providers and associates to recognise their achievements within the industry.

UKATA, a leading association, is dedicated to enhancing the quality and standards of asbestos training with the aim to shield workers and the public from the hazards of asbestos exposure.

The association collaborates closely with its members to guarantee that they have access to the latest information, training resources, and industry updates. They provide a suite of support services to assist them in accomplishing their training objectives. Their membership encompasses a diverse array of organisations involved in asbestos training, including training providers, asbestos removal contractors, consultants, and equipment suppliers.

UKATA is fervent about promoting safe and responsible working practices, committed to working with members and partners to realise a shared vision of protecting workers and the public from the hazards linked with asbestos exposure.

Published on Monday 17th July 2023