Free asbestos help for tradespeople
DIY enthusiasts and tradespeople will be offered free asbestos safety training that could save lives, thanks to a national campaign by the UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA).
The Train Safe, Work Safe, Keep Safe campaign will see UKATA members offer free asbestos training in September and October to highlight the dangers of asbestos and the need for essential training for those who may encounter it.
The campaign is predominantly aimed at small companies and tradespeople who may not otherwise have previously known about, or received, such training.
“In the last few years, our members have delivered over half a million asbestos training courses but we are all too aware there are still thousands of tradespeople who have not received training of any kind,” said Craig Evans, general manager of UKATA. “They are at risk of inadvertently coming into contact with deadly fibres if they disturb asbestos and for this reason, our members are generously offering free training, at their own expense.”
Every week in the UK, 20 tradespeople die from diseases caused by exposure to asbestos fibres as long ago as the 1950s through to 1983, when strict safety guidelines were introduced.
The weekly toll includes eight joiners, six electricians and four plumbers, with experts predicting the UK’s asbestos death rate of 5,000 will soar in the next five years.
Damage to the lungs from asbestos inhalation can lay dormant for 50 years and a huge number of late-stage cases are about to be diagnosed, says UKATA.
UKATA members believe offering free asbestos awareness training is a way of delivering the message to this sector of industry.
“UKATA members feel so strongly we felt we had to do something practical to help tackle the issues surrounding the lack of asbestos awareness,” added Mr Evans.
“We can’t change the past but we can change attitudes now and we feel this is a great way to convey the message on the dangers of asbestos to the public.”
The legacy of more than half a century of exposure to asbestos at work is about to be seen in thousands of former ship-builders, boilermakers, builders, plumbers, teachers, nurses and their families.
Mesothelioma alone is thought to be silently afflicting one in every 100 men born in the 1940s in the UK, and Guy’s Hospital in London has predicted 100,000 people in the developing world who are alive now will die from the condition.
UKATA sets standards in asbestos training and ensures members meet standards.
It launched its new campaign at the Safety and Health Expo, from June 16-18, at Excel, London.
UKATA will be promoting the free training with a national media campaign and, in a further move, has recruited Victoria Castelluccio as marketing officer responsible for overseeing the new initiative.
For further details about the free training in September and October, visit the UKATA website at www. ukata.org.uk.