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    HSE CALLS FOR FREE ASBESTOS TRAINING ‘PLEDGES’

    Industry and HSE seek ‘Big Society’ help in tackling asbestos death toll

    A target of 4000 hours of free asbestos awareness training has been set in a new initiative to help tradesmen across Britain protect themselves from asbestos dust. Latest annual figures show that 2,249 people died from the disease in 2008 alone, up over three per cent on the previous year across Great Britain. 

    HSE and the training industry are calling for those who run training course to pledge free hours during September. It is hoped that 4000 face-to-face training hours and an additional 4,000 hours of online training will be offered by various providers.

    The free training will be available throughout October and November and is aimed at tradesmen e.g. joiners, electricians and plumbers who are most likely to disturb the fibres as they go about their work – around 20 a week lose their lives to asbestos-related diseases.

    Aim is to prevent the ‘hidden killer’ claiming another generation

    Independent Asbestos Training Providers (IATP) and the UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) are working with HSE by inviting their members to pledge. Members of the Asbestos Safety Health Environmental e-Learning Association (ASHEeLA) are also invited to provide free online training courses.

    Training providers looking to pledge hours can visit the HSE campaign website  and those wanting to sign up to free training can see what is being pledged in their area by following links on the site.

    Said Karen Clayton, HSE’s director for long latency health risks:

    “Our Hidden Killer campaign is helping tradesmen understand the lifesaving fact that asbestos exposure is not just an historical problem – around half a million public buildings still contain it.

    This new initiative, a continuation of the campaign, is all about tradesmen finding out exactly what they need to do to protect themselves by taking advantage of free training.

    There is sadly little we can do to help those who are already suffering the often fatal effects of asbestos exposure in the workplace, but we can prevent this hidden killer claiming another generation.”

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