Sports legend set to host 2023 UKATA Excellence Awards

UKATA Excellence Awards 2023 Logo (Burgundy) - Final.png

The legendary British athlete and TV personality Kriss Akabusi MBE is set to host the 2023 UKATA Excellence Awards celebration.

Approved training providers and associates working within the UK’s asbestos industry will be honoured at the celebration which is being held on Friday 7 July 2023 to coincide with Action Mesothelioma Day.

As well as bringing together UKATA approved training providers and associates to recognise their achievements within the industry, the event will also celebrate the 15th anniversary of the creation of UKATA, a leading authority on asbestos standards and training.

This will be the second time Kriss has hosted the awards, which are sponsored by Asbestos Analysts Ltd, Tersus Consultancy Ltd, Asbestos Management Consultancy Ltd, Roundworks IT, DSK Environmental Ltd and Specialist Assessment and Training Centre Ltd.

Craig Evans, UKATA Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Kriss Akabusi as the host of this special event. His energy, enthusiasm, and charisma will add an extra dimension to what promises to be a fantastic evening celebrating the achievements of those in the asbestos industry.”

Established in 2008 at the request of the HSE (Health and Safety Executive), UKATA (the UK Asbestos Training Association) has since gone on to set the industry standards in asbestos training as well as develop a network of approved asbestos training providers.

The event, which is being held at the Radisson Blu Hotel, East Midlands Airport, will see Kriss present six prestigious awards which recognise the achievements of individuals and organisations working in the industry to protect workers and the public from the risks associated with asbestos exposure.

Kriss said of the evening: “I am truly honoured to be hosting the UKATA Excellence Awards 2023 event and joining in the celebration of UKATA's remarkable 15-year anniversary. This momentous occasion is a testament to the unwavering commitment and dedication of UKATA in advancing excellence and fostering growth within the construction industry.

I am thrilled to be a part of this prestigious event, where we will recognise and honour the outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations who have made a significant impact in this dynamic field.

Together, let us embrace the spirit of excellence and raise a toast to 15 years of success and innovation!"

Despite the use of asbestos being banned in the UK in 1999, asbestos exposure is responsible for the deaths of 20 tradespeople in the UK every week, making it the single biggest cause of work-related deaths.

Kriss will present six awards at the event:

  • Contribution to the Community Award
  • Customer Service Excellence Award
  • Workforce Development Award
  • Excellence in Innovation
  • Industry Associate of the Year
  • Rising Star Award

An expert panel of judges will decide the winners of the awards which will be announced on the night.

More than 100 people working within the industry are expected to attend the event, including campaigners and fundraisers for charities dedicated to people affected by mesothelioma, asbestosis, or other asbestos related diseases.

Craig added: “Although the use of asbestos was banned in the construction of buildings nearly 25 years ago, it still presents a very serious health risk to people. The work of our approved training providers, charities and campaigners within the industry continues to be vital in increasing asbestos safety standards. I am delighted that we will be able to recognise them at this very special celebration.”

Asbestos was used widely in construction for 100 years prior to its ban. It is estimated that today there are six million tonnes of the highly toxic material in as many as 1.5 million buildings in the UK.

Since UKATA was established 15 years ago, approved training providers have delivered asbestos training to more than two million people.

Based in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, UKATA is a leading association dedicated to improving the quality and standards of asbestos training.

UKATA has around 200 members throughout the UK and internationally/ globally. Being a member demonstrates commitment to delivering the highest standards of asbestos training.

Prior to 2008, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) held a list of asbestos training providers known as the ATPWG (Asbestos Training Providers’ Working Group). The need to raise standards of training within the asbestos industry was widely acknowledged and the formation of a trade association was suggested, leading to the creation of the UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA). The inaugural meeting of UKATA was held in September 2007, with 41 of the 50 training providers on the ATPWG list agreeing to join.

UKATA’s remit was to set standards, audit and manage the list of asbestos training providers, going forward.

UKATA began trading in January 2008 and accepted applications from Licensed, Non-Licensed and Asbestos Awareness Training Providers.

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Published on Monday 22nd May 2023