Asbestos is a word many people associate with a grim and distant past. An archaic material that is no longer used and if we avoid talking about it too much one day the horrific consequences of its widespread use will be forgotten. Wrong! Asbestos is a latent problem in buildings all across the UK. If a building has been constructed before 2000 or indeed refurbished before that date then there is a chance it contains asbestos. The UK was one of the slowest countries to ban the substance and as such has suffered dire consequences in the form of a high rate of asbestos related illnesses, with deaths resulting from mesothelioma peaking at 2,538 in 2013. Of course, this has huge ramifications on the need for thorough and professionally accredited asbestos training throughout the construction trade. After all, nobody wants the death of a co-worker on their hands, to save the small cost of providing training. On top of this, of course are the legal obligations that dictate that companies must offer the adequate protection and training to their employees to mitigate against the dangers in the workplace.
In addition to the moral and safety reasons for adopting strict and regimented asbestos training protocol, there is also a sound financial reason for keeping things incredibly tight in this area. Every potential client can check with the click of a button on the UKATA webpage whether your company and employees are correctly covered. Each training course is valid for one year, after which refresher courses are taken to ensure continued coverage. All of this is public domain information and it would be incredibly reckless for any construction firm not to ensure that everyone is kept up-to-date.
Asbestos training courses are accredited by UKATA and upon successful completion of a training course, delegates will receive a certificate and their status can be checked on site via UKATA. This is good news for everyone concerned. Contrary to popular belief, asbestos is not only found in old loft spaces, but can be found in staircases, kitchen flooring and various other places. The main risks from asbestos come if the substance is disturbed. This means that identifying asbestos and the likelihood of their being asbestos containing materials in a property form a big part of all asbestos training courses. Anyone planning on removing asbestos containing materials from a property will need specific training for this task – also provided under the UKATA banner.