Asbestos Awareness Training
For those who employ their own internal maintenance team, the following points need to be reiterated regarding asbestos awareness training – which is mandatory for all persons who may encounter asbestos materials even if they are not required to work on those materials.
- Asbestos Awareness training (Category A): the HSE require that Asbestos Awareness training is renewed or refreshed annually but that it is only suitable for those workers who need an appreciation of the issues, controls and management of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) but who do not intend to undertake work on, or removal of, ACMs.
- Minor unlicensed work on ACMs: those persons who intend to carry out minor unlicensed work on ACMs during the normal course of their work, should attend a Category B training day; WHS can organise this type of training through our experienced asbestos associate.Should very minor unlicensed work be necessary on a very infrequent basis, an absolute minimum of internal training using the relevant ‘task sheet/s’ from the HSE’s Asbestos Essentials (http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/essentials) must be undertaken in the form of a properly conducted and recorded tool-box talk or briefing.
- It is recommended to review the criteria for licensed and unlicensed asbestos work; and, if in doubt, treat all work as licensed to err on the side of caution.Avoidance, disturbance of, and work with, ACMs is very high risk issue, in terms of both health and finance. Get it wrong and you risk the well-being of both employees and your company. With huge fines resulting from prosecution and massive clean-up costs as a result of disturbance (upwards of £150,000 is not uncommon for either), nobody, particularly premises management, can afford to be complacent.Speak to WHS for advice and/or assistance if you are ever in doubt; our time is much cheaper than the consequences of getting it wrong! Don’t take risks!