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Nov

How Asbestos Awareness Courses Can Help Your Business

Posted by Tracy Seward

Increased knowledge through an asbestos awareness course will ensure that your business is not only healthy and safety compliant, but your staff are both competent and confident in their work. Asbestos causes severe illnesses and the mortality rate is high. Many people have been exposed to asbestos who frequently worked with the material, particularly before 1999 and many years ago without the correct protective equipment.

At the time a lot wasn’t known about the dangers of asbestos and it was frequently used in shipbuilding, steelmaking and other industries. Consequently, there are many general labourers who are developing fatal asbestos-related conditions such as mesothelioma. The nature of asbestos exposure means that symptoms do not present themselves until many years after the initial exposure, sometimes 50 or even 60 years later.

In the past, the harmful effects of asbestos were concealed by employers and in some instances, employers were just not aware of the dangers to the health of their employees.

What can an asbestos training course offer?

Asbestos awareness training is essential for your business. Many buildings constructed before the use of asbestos was prohibited in 1999 may contain asbestos of some kind, whether it’s a textured coating, pipe lagging or insulation board. Sometimes casings around asbestos materials can disintegrate over time and when disturbed you are at significant risk of breathing in microscopic dust and fibres.

An asbestos awareness course will educate employees on a number of topics, including:

  • What asbestos is and why it is so harmful
  • The different materials that can contain asbestos
  • Where you can find asbestos-containing materials
  • The various diseases associated with exposure
  • How to manage asbestos
  • Regulations
  • Risk assessments and emergency procedures

The consequences of failing to comply with asbestos regulations can prove severe. If an employee is likely to come into contact with asbestos during their course of work, employers are legally obliged to deliver asbestos awareness training. The Health and Safety Executive is responsible for enforcing asbestos regulations and businesses can face prosecution, substantial fines or even closure and prosecution for failing to implement or observe the regulations.

Breaches can range from failing to undertake asbestos surveys for certain types of demolition work, through to a failure to take the required precautions when asbestos materials are present in the fabric of a building and the employer is aware of this.

Asbestos awareness training is therefore essential for all types of business in the construction industry especially, but also in related industries too. The consequences can be significant and long-lasting, not only for employees who are exposed to asbestos but for employers who could face prosecution, serious fines and even closure of the entire business.

Find out more about our courses today and get in touch.

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