CAR 2012 outlines that all employers are responsible for providing asbestos training to employees liable to exposure to asbestos through the nature of their work. This training is vital to raise awareness of the potential health risks involved in exposure to asbestos fibres, and measures that can be taken to avoid or mitigate those risks.
An Asbestos Awareness Certificate is an ideal way to record when staff have received adequate training as part of ongoing professional development.
What Is Asbestos Training?
There are three tiers of asbestos training relevant to staff:
1) Asbestos Awareness
The first level of training should be offered to all staff who might come into contact with asbestos. It should provide information on the properties of asbestos and its potential risks to health, as well as how to avoid accidental disturbance.
This level of training would not qualify a member of staff to work with materials containing asbestos but provides key information that will be useful to anyone who might work near ACM’s. For example, general maintenance staff or building contractors should receive at least this level of training. The main aim is to ensure workers are clear on how to avoid disturbing asbestos
2) Non-Licensable Work With Asbestos
The next level is designed for staff who may be required to work more closely with ACMs, although higher risk work must only be completed by a licensed contractor. This would be appropriate for maintenance work with ACM’s that is sporadic or considered low intensity. The training should include how to assess the risk of exposure to asbestos and any safety measures or protective equipment that should be used. There should also be training on emergency procedures and handling waste materials.
3) Licensable Work With Asbestos
The majority of work with higher risk ACM’s must be carried out by competent and fully licensed contractors wearing effective protective equipment and breathing apparatus. Competency does not depend on attending training courses but comes from acquiring experience in working with asbestos under the supervision of more experienced staff.
Why Do We Need Asbestos Training?
Asbestos-related health conditions cause 5,500 deaths every year, and some of these might have been avoided with better awareness training. Anyone exposed to asbestos who might have inhaled asbestos fibres is at risk and asbestos has been linked to lung cancer as well as other serious medical conditions. Some workers in both the construction and maintenance industries are at greater risk of coming into contact with asbestos more often, and asbestos awareness training is vital to help them learn how to remain safe and healthy. All employers have a duty of care to keep their employees safe and avoid contact with harmful materials.
What Might Effective Awareness Training Include?
Effective asbestos training should cover the properties of asbestos and the major health risks. As an employer, you can source specialist trainers to deliver asbestos training courses to your staff that can be tailor-made to the needs of your business. For example, the training could also cover details and procedures detailed within the company Asbestos Policy, occurrence of asbestos materials on-site, location of ACMs on the site plan and awareness of who the Asbestos Duty Holder is and their duties. It should also cover procedures on what to do in an emergency and how to minimise or avoid exposure. The aim of the course should be to heighten awareness of asbestos, challenge perceptions and train staff on how to avoid disturbance or exposure.
How Long Does My Asbestos Certificate Last?
Refresher asbestos awareness courses should be provided annually to ensure all appropriate staff remain up to date with changes in HSE guidance or their working environment. These might be annually and could take place online or could be more frequent depending on how often the environment might change. Any changes in the guidance or information about asbestos on-site should be reflected in staff training, as well as any changes to the environment that might affect or disturb any ACMs.
How To Get Your Asbestos Awareness Certificate
The best way to organise Asbestos Awareness Certificates for yourself or any employee is to bring in the services of an experienced specialist, such as OMC. Many different experts in the field offer training packages that can be adapted to suit your needs and using the same experts that completed your Asbestos Survey might help make that training even more bespoke.
Next Steps At Occupational Management Consultants, we offer a wide range of expert services to help businesses reduce and mitigate their asbestos risk – including tailored training courses. Visit our OMC website today for more information and to request a training quote.
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