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December 17, 2012

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Free training to raise awareness of asbestos risks

To help local tradespeople in Northern Ireland learn more about the dangers of asbestos, the HSENI is encouraging duty-holders to take advantage of a new three-month programme of free training.

Organised in partnership with the training industry, the new scheme, ‘Asbestos Training Pledge NI’, will run for 12 weeks from 7 January to 29 March 2013.

According to the HSENI, there have been more than 300 deaths in Northern Ireland in the last five years due to past exposures to asbestos – and this number is expected to rise.

Anyone responsible for the maintenance and repair of non-domestic premises has a legal duty to manage the risks from asbestos. Duty-holders must inform tradesmen if asbestos is present in a building in which they are working. Duty-holders are also required to have an asbestos register, which they must make available on request.

Launching the training initiative, the HSENI’s head of workplace health, Cyril Anderson, said: “Everyone should avoid working with asbestos if possible. But if you need to work with asbestos, make sure you have proper training before you start.”

He added: “Asbestos Training Pledge NI offers a great opportunity to learn more about the dangers from asbestos and follows on from the HSENI’s Hidden Killer and Duty to Manage awareness campaigns. I’d encourage everyone who, through their work, may come into contact with asbestos to take advantage of this free training and to book a place today.”

Training providers in Northern Ireland and Great Britain have pledged 1000 course places, which are available via e-learning or classroom-based formats.  There is no charge for the training but, as places are limited, they will be offered on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

For more information on the scheme and to find out how to sign up for courses, visit www.hseni.gov.uk/asbestos/pledgeni or call 0800 0320 121.

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