If you work near asbestos then getting the correct Asbestos awareness training is essential.
If there is one word that usually raises an eyebrow or two in everyday conversations, it is asbestos. For many of us who never need worry about being exposed to this material, we can still think of a headline or two that sparked fear into our hearts. So spare a thought for those individuals who are still required to deal with asbestos on a daily basis. How exactly do they feel about this harmful and destructive material?
We started using asbestos back in the 1950s because it was deemed to be an excellent insulator and it was also fireproof. Many buildings that were erected before the turn of the millennium may contain some elements of asbestos. Sadly, this wonder material was found to be responsible for many illnesses and as a result, it was eventually withdrawn from the construction market.
The Dangers of Asbestos
Despite the fact that we no longer use asbestos when constructing buildings, it is still responsible for 20 deaths per week in the tradesman professions. When this material becomes damaged, the fibres are released and can easily be inhaled. The results are catastrophic and can cause 4 serious, and sometimes fatal, diseases:
Diffuse Pleural Thickening
With these facts in mind, it makes excellent sense to offer asbestos awareness training for tradesman who may be exposed to this potentially lethal material. This is offered by the Health & Safety executive and should be organised by all employers whose workers may be at risk from asbestos exposure. UKATA training is made up of 4 modules:
Asbestos Properties. Essentially learning about the material and its documented ill-health possibilities.
Different Types of Asbestos. What it looks like and where it is likely to be installed.
How To Deal With Asbestos. This is all about emergency procedures when asbestos dust is released into the atmosphere without warning.
Asbestos Avoidance. How to minimise the risk of being exposed to this dangerous material.
Duty of Care
It is vital for employers to offer a duty of care to all of their employees, and this is even more pertinent when we are talking about asbestos. If the employers business dictates that his/her employees are required to work in an environment that may have an asbestos presence, then they need to ensure that these workers have completed the appropriate asbestos awareness training. If this does not take place, the consequences could be devastating.
Back in the 1950s, asbestos was being hailed as a miracle substance that held some fantastic insulation properties as well as being fireproof, so what could possibly go wrong? Sadly, the answer to that hypothetical question is Plenty. Fast forward to 2013 and this potentially lethal material is still claiming up to 25 lives every single week.
Asbestos and the Dangers
The big issue with asbestos is what happens when this material becomes disturbed and tiny particles become released into the atmosphere. Breathing in just a tiny amount of asbestos dust can cause some catastrophic results. Lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma can all cause an agonising death for those unfortunate enough to inhale the deadly dust. This material has long since been withdrawn from new builds, but any construction that was erected before 2000 has a real possibility of containing asbestos.
Duty of Care
Any employer whose business is involved with any activity that may cause the workers to come into contact with asbestos needs to ensure that his or her employees have the correct training in place. UKATA (United Kingdom Asbestos Training Association) sets the standards for asbestos training. This includes learning how to identify the risks of asbestos and also how to avoid any exposure if at all possible. But what happens when the workforce are required to remove this lethal substance from existing properties?
Asbestos Removal Training
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE), offer a comprehensive range of courses that will educate the attendees all about asbestos and the risks involved when working with this material. As well as teaching individuals how to recognise and avoid asbestos, they can also learn about how to remove it safely. The types of activity that are covered by this area of asbestos training are as follows:
How to remove asbestos safely. This requires training with the appropriate safety equipment, including breathing apparatus.
Asbestos disposal methods. How to handle and contain the waste material without risk to yourself or others.
Emergency procedures. How to deal with unpredictable asbestos release issues.
Safe working practices. Essentially this deals with all of the above and enables the workers to tick all of the personal and public safety best working practice boxes. Tradesmen at Risk
As well as general builders, there are a myriad of trades that can carry an asbestos exposure risk, so the following professionals need to carry out asbestos training:
If you are concerned that your workforce may have any type of potential exposure to asbestos, please contact the HSE now for some expert advice.