The UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) Asbestos Awareness course covers the hazards and potential consequences of being exposed to asbestos fibres. Asbestos Awareness Training provides information essential for anybody who may accidentally disturb asbestos so that they are able to protect themselves from potentially fatal diseases.
It is a legal requirement that any employer who employs those who may be exposed to asbestos in their work, provides them with Asbestos Awareness training. While this training is comprehensive, it does need regular refreshing.
Understanding Asbestos Risk
Asbestos is a naturally occurring, but hazardous fibre that has been widely used in construction for decades. It can be found in any industrial or residential building built before 2000, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The risk of asbestos occurs when it is accidentally disturbed. This can be due to handling, working on, or working near asbestos-containing materials (ACMS). When ACMs are disturbed, asbestos fibres are released into the air. If these fibres are inhaled, they can cause ill health and many fatal conditions, including lung cancer and cancer of the larynx and ovaries.
UKATA Asbestos Awareness training can help workers understand the health risks associated with asbestos and mitigate their exposure.
Why is Asbestos Awareness Training Essential?
Providing asbestos awareness training to employees that may be exposed is a legal requirement. Let’s look at why. The HSE considers asbestos to be an extremely dangerous substance that can cause different kinds of cancer and lung conditions.
Common diseases resulting from asbestos exposure include cancers such as mesothelioma and lung cancer. Mesothelioma attacks the lining of the lungs and the lower digestive tract (peritoneum). In most cases, mesothelioma is fatal and is almost always directly caused by asbestos exposure.
Asbestos exposure also results in other lung conditions such as pleural thickening and asbestosis (fibrosis of the lungs). Asbestos-related illnesses can take many years to develop. By the time they are diagnosed, these conditions usually prove fatal.
UKATA estimates that the UK has over 5,000 asbestos-related disease deaths every year. At the same time, approximately 20 tradespeople per week die as a result of past exposure to asbestos, according to HSE.
On a worldwide scale, 125 million people worldwide have been exposed to asbestos, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Their data shows that in 2004, an estimated 107,000 deaths were attributed to asbestos exposure.
An article published in March 2020 in the Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy stated that asbestos is ‘the most frequent cause of occupational cancer’. The author goes on to compare the rise of asbestos-related cancers to the epidemic of lung cancer in smokers.
Being aware of the potential dangers of asbestos is one of the key components of avoiding further fatalities both in the UK and across the globe. Having the proper health and safety training is, therefore, crucial for any occupation that may involve being exposed to asbestos.
Who Requires an Asbestos Awareness Certificate?
Anyone working on the structure of older buildings runs the risk of inhaling dangerous asbestos fibres. These include people who are:
- General Maintenance Workers
- Construction Workers
- Building Surveyors
- Heating Engineers
- Fire Alarm Installers
Any person whose occupation involves the possibility of being exposed to asbestos should complete an Asbestos Awareness Course.
Trainees who complete the course will be awarded an Asbestos Risk Awareness Certificate, which is an industry recognised acknowledgment that an employee has undergone asbestos training. UKATA certification is one of the top Asbestos Awareness certifications available.
What Does UKATA Certification Mean?
UKATA is a not-for-profit organisation created in 2008 with the goal of becoming the asbestos industry’s number one training association. UKATA ensures that the highest standards of training are delivered by its members. All training conducted by UKATA members is in line with current legislation and guidance from the Health and Safety Executive.
UKATA developed the Asbestos Awareness Course to improve asbestos health and safety procedures and help the industry comply with HSE Legislation.
Employees who are at risk of exposure to asbestos must complete asbestos awareness training. Employers who ensure their employees complete UKATA asbestos awareness can be confident that they have provided top-notch asbestos training while doing their legal duty.
What does Asbestos Awareness training cover?
The Control of Asbestos Regulations (2012) requires employers to provide employees with adequate information, instruction, and training on asbestos.
Asbestos awareness training programmes typically cover:
- An awareness of the properties of asbestos and its effects on health
- Varieties, uses, and occurrences of asbestos in older buildings
- How to avoid asbestos exposure by implementing safer work procedures
- Employer and employee obligations under current asbestos legislations
- Asbestos risk assessment procedures to be carried out prior to work activities
- Emergency procedures in the event of exposure to asbestos-containing materials
When Should You Renew Your Asbestos Awareness Certificate?
Asbestos research, risk aversion techniques, and workplace safeguards are constantly being improved, so staying up to date with training programmes is vital. New regulations may also be introduced periodically, so it is crucial to stay informed of current developments.
Although there is no legal requirement to repeat asbestos awareness training, the HSE recommends that a refresher training course be undertaken every 12 months, or as necessary, to ensure that employees are kept aware of the possible risks.
Participating in UKATA Asbestos Awareness training is highly beneficial to managing health and safety in the workplace, but it is an ongoing process. Regular refresher training will ensure that staff and management keep their skill sets and knowledge up to date.
Where to Get Health and Safety Training
To help employers and employees stay safe and meet their legal obligations, online e-learning providers, such as Human Focus offer online UKATA Asbestos Awareness courses. These types of courses should be suitable for first-time trainees as well as those who wish to undertake a refresher.
The length of the course varies based on the provider, but it generally takes around 2-3 hours. Participants can take the course in smaller blocks, so it can easily be adapted to fit in with daily work routines.
The training will ensure participants have the necessary knowledge of and can adhere to, the HSE Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. There are tests at the conclusion of each module to check that trainees have gained the relevant knowledge.
You can complete the course using a desktop computer, tablet, or laptop. Please note, due to UKATA stipulations, the Asbestos Awareness course cannot be completed using a mobile phone device.