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September 7, 2011

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Asbestos training providers urged to offer free courses

The HSE is calling on organisations that provide asbestos training to pledge free courses up to a total of 4000 hours to reflect the approximate number of deaths in Britain each year caused by the deadly dust.

The regulator is hoping that, throughout October and November, the training industry will offer 4000 face-to-face training hours and an additional 4000 hours of online training to help tradesmen across the country protect themselves from asbestos-related conditions. Currently, around 20 joiners, electricians, and plumbers die from such illnesses every week.

The initiative is part of the HSE’s ‘Hidden Killer’ campaign, which, it had been feared, was no longer active, owing to cuts to the regulator’s budget. Tim Galloway, HSE Head of Operations in London, said: “Our Hidden Killer campaign has helped tradesmen understand the lifesaving fact that asbestos exposure is not just an historical problem – around half a million public buildings still contain it.

“This next phase of the campaign is all about tradesmen finding out exactly what they need to do to protect themselves by taking advantage of free training. Through the continued commitment of asbestos support groups and by industry playing its part, we can all do something practical to ensure that the risk to workers is minimised.”

Already working in partnership with the HSE on this initiative are the Independent Asbestos Training Providers (IATP), the UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA), and the Asbestos Safety Health Environmental e-Learning Association (ASHEeLA) – all of which are encouraging their members to pledge an hour of free training provision.

Said UKATA vice-chair Eddie Strong: “The initial response from our members has been extremely encouraging and we are confident that pledges of free training hours will gain momentum as the pledge gets properly underway.
“UKATA training providers, together with other participating bodies, will offer free asbestos awareness training to those individuals who otherwise may not have the opportunity to receive it.”

Training providers looking to pledge hours are invited to visit the 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.

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10 years ago

I commend any effort to prevent exposure. However, in all the inspections I undertook whilst at the HSE on SME demo/refurbishment work sites, I never once came accross an Asbestos Survey having been undertaken. And on Stake Holder sites I came accross inadequate surveys in a School environment. Unless work with asbestos or within an asbestos environment is controlled pre-start, there will be continued exposure by either those ignorent to the risk or those who ignore it. No duty under Planning?