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Asbestos Awareness eLearning- -Really?

Posted by Tracy Seward

There’s been a big shift towards e-learning to deliver a whole range of different safety and compliance courses. It’s a pretty standard way to update employees on legislative changes or train them during their health and safety induction or on specific topics such as hazardous substances. But what about asbestos and asbestos-containing materials (ACMs)? Can an e-learning course really educate workers effectively in the dangers of this hidden killer?

A quick google search reveals any number of safety e-learning providers offering asbestos awareness courses. This must mean some sort of industry consensus and government backing for online delivery of asbestos training right? Well sort of. It’s actually not quite that simple and exercising a degree of caution when it comes to asbestos training and delivery via e-learning is completely justified as it’s probably not appropriate for the more high-risk work with ACM’s.

Revisiting asbestos facts and figures makes for chilling reading. Every week in the UK 4 plumbers, 20 tradesmen, 6 electricians and 8 joiners die from the effects of this hidden killer and it’s believed to be due to them being exposed to repeated accidental exposures to ACMs in their working lives.

Any building constructed before 2000 can contain asbestos. This is not a historical problem that only affects older workers. It’s real and it’s out there. Asbestos can be present in schools, hospitals and offices and if the fibres become airborne that’s when serious problems occur. No wonder then that any kind of asbestos training receives intense scrutiny.

The HSE approves of and recognises e-learning as a valid and effective delivery method for awareness training, but with certain stipulations. The course content must satisfy the objectives set out in Regulation 10 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and the supporting Approved Code of Practice.

E-learning can really get the asbestos awareness message across and provides an easy way of being able to refresh knowledge and remind those at risk of the dangers from ACMs anytime or anywhere they can access the internet via a browser.

To discuss any Asbestos issues, information on our Asbestos Awareness or any other eLearning course please click here

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