As a property manager you’re probably already aware of the dangers of asbestos in commercial, industrial, and residential buildings, but do you know that if you’re an employer you should provide asbestos awareness training to certain members of staff?
It’s obligatory for employers in the UK to provide asbestos awareness training to employees who are likely to come into contact with the substance during their regular day-to-day work. If you have members of staff on your books who carry out practical duties in your buildings, you need to make sure they’re aware of the dangers posed by asbestos.
Who do you need to train?
If you employ individuals who could encounter asbestos during their normal working day, you have a legal obligation to provide awareness training. This might include painters and decorators, for example, or perhaps plumbers or electricians.
Asbestos awareness training should also be taken up by independent contractors who carry out work for you, but as you’re not their employer, it’s their responsibility to make sure they undertake the training.
What does asbestos awareness training teach?
Essentially, your employees will learn how to recognise asbestos, how to avoid it, and deal with the situation if asbestos fibres escape. Being able to recognise asbestos in its different forms, understand where the dangers lie and what to do if they come across asbestos at work, are all vital elements of the course.
This type of training is crucial if properties are being refurbished as asbestos containing materials (ACMs) are so easily disturbed in such situations. ACMs typically include asbestos cement products, partition walling, ceiling and floor tiles, and asbestos insulation, but many more products exist that could potentially contain asbestos and pose a serious risk to health.
What’s included on an asbestos awareness training course?
The UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) is a leading training body that sets the standards for asbestos training. They monitor their member training providers, and offer certification on successful completion of courses.
The asbestos awareness training course is designed to enable workers to identify the substance and understand the dangers associated with it. As a basic outline, courses incorporate the following areas:
- Why asbestos is so dangerous
- Where asbestos-containing materials might be found, and what they look like
- Asbestos diseases and their symptoms
- Asbestos legislation and regulations
- What to do if asbestos is disturbed
- Basic asbestos management
Acorn Analytical Services is a leading UK asbestos consultancy and provides a full range of asbestos services, including asbestos surveys, asbestos testing, and removal of asbestos. We’re UKATA approved training providers for asbestos awareness training, and can help you meet your obligations as a property manager or employer. To obtain a free asbestos awareness training quote, please complete the online form or contact one of our expert consultants to find out more.