Did you know that asbestos can cause a serious risk to your health? Responsible for around 4,500 deaths each year, it can lead to cancer of the lungs and chest lining, as well as an array of other serious medical conditions.
While asbestos fibres pose a health hazard to anyone unlucky enough to inhale them, certain groups are at a greater risk of coming into contact with them than others. These include construction and building maintenance workers, for example, plumbers, joiners, roofers, electricians etc., along with anyone else whose job increases their chances of breathing in asbestos-containing materials.
This is why the people who work within the construction and property sectors should receive proper asbestos awareness training, to enhance their understanding of the risks and provide them with the skills necessary to keep them safe from exposure.
As an employer, you’re responsible for delivering this. Here’s how it works.
What Is An Asbestos Awareness Certificate?
Anyone likely to disturb asbestos in their normal line of work should be properly trained in the procedures to follow should they come into contact with suspected asbestos containing materials, and an asbestos awareness course is a good place to start. This is designed to teach individuals about the dangers of coming into contact with such materials, as well as educating them on the control measures needed to minimise risks.
At the end of this training, a certificate of proof of training is awarded in order to prove that the individual has a sufficient understanding of the hazards asbestos poses.
How Long Does An Asbestos Awareness Certificate Last?
Interestingly, there is no legal requirement that states how often asbestos awareness training should be provided, but what the law does make clear is that employers have a legal duty to provide their workers with suitable information, instruction, and training to keep them safe.
With this in mind, we recommend that you tailor the delivery of asbestos training to your employees’ roles and their likelihood of being exposed to asbestos containing materials, preferably erring on the side of caution. Regular refresher training is undoubtedly important, and given that most certificates expire after a year, we would suggest you use this as a benchmark for sufficient training intervals.
Why Is Regular Training So Important?
Delivering sufficient asbestos awareness training is not a particularly onerous task, but it is of vital importance, which is why we urge you to stick to the guidance provided. Teaching workers how to avoid accidental asbestos disturbance and keep themselves safe could prove the difference between a fatal exposure to asbestos fibres and a safe and healthy workforce.