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Asbestos was once a commonly used building material in the construction of homes, offices and other structures. A fibrous material with a large portfolio of practical purposes, asbestos has been in use for millennia and can be found in virtually every corner of the earth.

Modern uses of asbestos usually include insulation, roofing, fire proofing, and sound absorption in the construction and building industry; and production of brake shoes and clutch pads in the automotive industry. Additionally, asbestos was commonly used in ceiling tiles and flooring, as well as paints and adhesives.

Following a fairly recent discovery, asbestos has been cited as highly toxic to those who are exposed to it. Asbestos is a known carcinogen, and is the causes of uncountable cases of cancer every year. Asbestos use has been banned in the UK since the 1980s, but was used extensively for decades prior to its ban. As such, asbestos presence is ubiquitous throughout the UK, especially in older buildings.

Due to the widespread distribution of the material, people who could possibly come into contact with it or who need to handle it, must take asbestos awareness courses. 

Asbestos regulations

Today, all UK professional who may encounter asbestos in the work environment are required to have formal knowledge of how to safely deal with the substance. The asbestos regulations were updated in November of 2006 to encompass prior regulations with new asbestos prohibitions and controls, as well as licensing regulations. Regulations prohibit the importation, supply and use of all forms of asbestos in new uses and construction. However, existing building containing asbestos may be left in place.

Regulations requiring mandatory training for those at risk of being exposed to asbestos fibres at work are extremely critical due to the need to remove any asbestos which is currently in place in older buildings and for the necessary safety of the professionals tasked with its removal.

Asbestos awareness training courses

Employers are responsible for providing training to those who have the potential for asbestos exposure. Training in asbestos awareness will equip participants with the knowledge of potential dangers associated with first-hand and second-hand asbestos exposure, as well as the necessary procedures they need to follow. Here are some examples of asbestos awareness training course content:

  • The hazards of asbestos
  • Identifying asbestos
  • Correctly and safely dealing with asbestos
  • Asbestos and the law

Asbestos awareness training formats 

The majority of asbestos awareness training courses are delivered either as scheduled open courses or in-house training. Open courses involve attending a designated training centre specified by your provider, and will involve direct instruction from an asbestos expert. Comparably, in-house training brings the course to your company's own premises, and the learning experience can be tailored to suit your group size, specific requirements and desired training outcomes. 

Training standards for dealing with asbestos

The United Kingdom Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) is responsible for maintaining the standards of training required by individuals who may encounter asbestos in  their day-to-day work. UKATA also provides training standards for individuals handling the substance to ensure their safety and the safety of those in the vicinity. There are a number of courses that are UKATA approved that provide asbestos awareness as well as asbestos removal training.

Related training areas

Didn't find what you were looking for under asbestos awareness training? Try these alternative health and safety categories:

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