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HSE ADVICE ON ASBESTOS AWARENESS TRAINING

Asbestos training must be provided appropriate for work roles undertaken

Structures built or refurbished before the year 2000 could contain asbestos and any worker liable to disturb asbestos while performing their normal everyday work is required to be trained.

The employer must ensure that adequate information, instruction and training is given to those employees who are liable to be exposed to asbestos during the course of their work.

Type of asbestos training

All workers who are liable to disturb asbestos during their normal work should be trained so that they can recognise asbestos containing materials and know what to do if they come across them. The training needs to be appropriate for the work and the roles undertaken by individuals. There are three types of asbestos training:

  • Awareness training
  • Training for work with asbestos that does not require a licence from HSE
  • Training for asbestos work that does require a licence from HSE.
Asbestos awareness training

This training is for those persons who are liable to disturb asbestos while carrying out their normal everyday work, or who may influence how work is carried out, such as: General maintenance workers; Electricians; Plumbers; Joiners Painters and decorators; Plasterers; Construction workers; Roofers; Shop fitters Gas fitters; Heating and ventilation engineers; Demolition workers; Telecommunication engineers; Fire/burglar alarm installers; Computer installers; Architects and Building surveyors etc.

Asbestos awareness training should include the following topics:

  • properties of asbestos and its effects on health;
  • types, uses and likely occurrence of asbestos and asbestos materials in buildings and plant;
  • general procedures to deal with an emergency, e.g. an uncontrolled release;
  • how to avoid the risk of exposure to asbestos.

The self-employed should also ensure they are properly trained to protect themselves and ensure that others are not put at risk from their work activities.

Provision of asbestos awareness training

Awareness training is not enough if you “plan to carry out any work with asbestos containing materials”.

Competent training providers should have adequate practical experience in the asbestos sector and a theoretical knowledge of all relevant aspects of the work being carried out by the employer. It is the responsibility of the employer to determine whether a training provider is suitable or not.

The training can be delivered by “e–learning” provided the course content satisfies the objectives as stipulated in Regulation 10 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and the supporting Approved Code of Practice.

Refresher training should be given at least once a year and for persons who require only awareness training this can be “part of other health and safety updates”.

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