Asbestos training – 3 reasons why you need it!


When you hear the term “asbestos training,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? A mere formality? A necessity? Or perhaps you’re unsure of its significance. Let’s delve deeper into the world of asbestos and uncover three compelling reasons why asbestos awareness training is not just beneficial, but essential. And remember, we’re focusing on the importance of this training in the context of UK regulations.

1. Asbestos Awareness Training Could Be a Lifesaver

Asbestos, once hailed as a “magic mineral” for its heat resistance and durability, is now recognised as the UK’s most notorious industrial killer. The stark reality is that asbestos-related diseases claim over 5,000 lives annually. To break it down:

  • Every week, approximately 20 tradespersons succumb to asbestos exposure, including:
    • 8 joiners
    • 6 electricians
    • 4 plumbers

Despite the ban on asbestos, its legacy lingers. The UK imported around 6 million tonnes of asbestos fibre, which was then incorporated into 30 to 40 million tonnes of building products. Astonishingly, between 500,000 to 2 million commercial properties and about 2.5 million homes in the UK still harbour asbestos.

Considering that nearly 2 million individuals work in the building sector and an estimated 20 million people occupy these buildings, the potential daily exposure to asbestos is alarming. Yet, many remain unaware of what asbestos looks like, its potential locations, and the associated risks.

Asbestos training aims to bridge this knowledge gap. It educates individuals about the hazards of asbestos, ensuring they can identify it, avoid disturbing it, and respond effectively to emergencies. The primary goal of asbestos awareness training is to safeguard health by preventing inadvertent exposure.

2. It’s Not Just a Good Idea – It’s the Law

In the realm of occupational safety, few regulations are as stringent as those surrounding asbestos. The UK, recognising the profound health risks associated with asbestos exposure, has put in place robust legal frameworks to ensure the safety of its workers.

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 isn’t just a guideline—it’s a binding legal requirement. This regulation mandates that anyone who might come into contact with asbestos during their professional duties must undergo asbestos awareness training. This encompasses a broad spectrum of professions, from the obvious, like construction workers, to the less apparent, such as computer installers or telecom engineers.

But why such an expansive list? Because asbestos was once a ubiquitous building material. Its presence isn’t limited to old factories or warehouses; it can be found in schools, offices, and even homes. Thus, the chances of encountering it during routine work are higher than most realise.

Furthermore, the responsibility doesn’t end with the workers. Managers, supervisors, building owners, and anyone else who might influence or oversee such work must also be trained. This ensures a holistic approach where everyone involved in a project understands the risks and the necessary precautions.

3. Quality Abestos Training Without Breaking the Bank

In today’s economic climate, every penny counts. Businesses and individuals alike often grapple with budget constraints, weighing the pros and cons of each expenditure. However, when it comes to asbestos awareness training, the decision becomes remarkably simple.

A UKATA course typically costs around £55 + VAT (£66) per individual. When you consider the potential health implications and legal ramifications of not being trained, this amount seems trivial. To put it into perspective, the cost of this potentially life-saving training is equivalent to:

  • A family meal at a mid-range restaurant.
  • A pair of decent quality shoes.
  • About two months of a premium coffee shop’s daily brew.

Moreover, for businesses, group bookings can further reduce the cost, making it even more economical. The small investment in training can save significant potential costs in the future, from healthcare expenses to legal fees and penalties.

The importance of asbestos training cannot be overstated. It’s a legal requirement that ensures the safety of countless professionals across various sectors. And with its affordable pricing, equivalent to everyday expenses, there’s no reason to skip this crucial training. Stay informed, stay safe.

Acorn Analytical Services
Asbestos Survey – Asbestos Testing – Asbestos Awareness Training – Asbestos Removal
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Neil Munro

I work in a dual role at Acorn Analytical Services focused primarily on growing and leading the business from our Northampton office base. My focus is on overseeing all sales, marketing and financial activities from Northampton. I assist clients with high-level asbestos management strategies and training. Together with Ian Stone I host our weekly podcast – Asbestos Knowledge Empire and I'm Co-author of Asbestos The Dark Arts and Fear and Loathing of Health and Safety.

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