Many different asbestos materials have had a controversial history in the construction industry throughout the world. Despite being officially banned from use in 1999, asbestos materials are still prevalent in many British buildings. The toxic fibres can have devastating long-term health consequences for workers who aren’t trained in identifying asbestos risks and mitigating them.
That’s why it’s important to start your asbestos training with the UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA). In today’s article, we explain why your staff must complete the appropriate asbestos awareness training, what the training includes, and why UKATA are the go-to for asbestos training in the United Kingdom.
What is Asbestos and Why is it Dangerous?
The majority of the British population will have heard of asbestos, but do you know what it’s actually composed of? And what makes it so dangerous to human beings?
Asbestos is “a naturally occurring fibrous material.” In fact, it’s a collection of 6 naturally occurring fibrous materials, all of which have tiny, needle-like fibres. It started to be widely used at the end of the 1800s in the UK, all the way through to the end of the 20th century.
Asbestos was thought to be a relatively cheap, effective form of insulation. It was also used as a fireproof solution, and even today it is still found in piping insulation, boilers, ceiling tiles, roof tiles, and more.
It’s a dangerous material that can be found in many different buildings, all the way from schools to hospitals and offices. On top of that, there are many different types of asbestos with different colours and uses, making it difficult to identify. Each of them should be treated in different ways too.
Since exposure (primarily inhalation) of asbestos is proven to cause several different lung diseases and even cancer, it’s important that your team is fully aware of asbestos in the workplace and the danger it can cause.
Who Are UKATA?
Even if you aren’t expecting your team to remove asbestos or work with it directly, you still need to train them in case they disturb hidden asbestos inadvertently. In fact, it’s a legal requirement. The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 states that any employer expecting their employees to be exposed to asbestos in their line of work must provide them with the appropriate asbestos training.
Thankfully, the UKATA are here to help. And at TSMC, we’re an official UKATA training provider.
The UKATA is a leading authority on asbestos training in the United Kingdom. Primarily, it does this by positively influencing asbestos regulation within the UK, ensuring that its training courses help construction workers employ the highest standards of asbestos safety and adhere to guidelines.
It aims to be at the forefront of asbestos training and awareness. Certificates with the UKATA name are instantly recognisable for high standards that are in-line with current HSE legislation.
The UKATA Asbestos Awareness and UKATA Non-Licensed Removal training courses that we carry out train both workers and supervisors with the skills they need to work on potential asbestos sites safely.
What Does Asbestos Awareness Training Involve?
The UKATA Asbestos Awareness Training Course offers guidance on how to be aware of asbestos in the workplace. It does not train workers on how to handle asbestos materials. Anybody whose work “could foreseeably expose them to asbestos” must be given the appropriate training by their employer.
The main objective of the Awareness Training Course is to teach workers to avoid disturbing asbestos. Those who are enrolled on the course will leave with the knowledge of what asbestos looks like, how it behaves, and how it can affect their health. They will also learn about the different types of asbestos and unassuming materials that may contain asbestos.
It shares information about how to avoid the risk of exposure to asbestos. If, for some reason, a worker should accidentally expose themselves to asbestos and inhale the microscopic fibres, they will also know what to do in an emergency.
Asbestos Awareness Training with SMCL
There’s a reason why we’re an official training provider for UKATA and many other health and safety associations. We’re a training provider that you can rely on and since 2011, we’ve been putting our customers first.
We have two custom-built training centres in both Leeds and Derby. However, we’re also able to offer comprehensive training at your worksite. We’re flexible, dependable, and professional with all of our training courses.