The UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) has called on employers to ensure that all apprentices receive asbestos awareness training.

Tradespeople are at risk

Tradespeople are at higher risk of developing asbestos-related conditions as they are more likely to come into contact with asbestos.

UKATA wants to reduce the number of tradespeople developing asbestos-related conditions and is encouraging employers to train all apprentices.

The statistics

  • Asbestos diseases kill around 20 tradespeople each week in the UK
  • Asbestos disease is the biggest cause of work-related deaths
  • The UK has the highest death rate from mesothelioma in the world
  • The risk of developing mesothelioma is highest in those exposed to asbestos before the age of 30
  • Electricians are 16 times more likely to develop mesothelioma than the general population
  • Less than a third of tradesmen surveyed were aware of the correct procedures for dealing with asbestos

Training is key to prevention

The only known way to prevent asbestos-related conditions is to prevent exposure to asbestos. The use of asbestos products in the UK was banned in 2000 so although people are not being exposed to asbestos from new asbestos products, any building constructed before 2000 could contain asbestos. Therefore, tradespeople carrying out maintenance or repair work, are likely to come across asbestos containing materials and so need to be aware of what they look like and what to do when they are found.

The key to preventing exposure to asbestos is training and ensuring asbestos training is given at an early stage of a tradesperson’s career to allow them to protect themselves and their colleagues. Training at the start of an apprenticeship prevents bad habits from forming.

The LOcHER project

In an effort to ensure apprentices are able to access asbestos awareness training before they go into the workplace, UKATA is supporting the Learning Occupational Health by Experiencing Risks (LOcHER) project.

The project was started by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) with the aim to support colleges to develop students’ employment and life skills, with the hope that they will be fully equipped to thrive in their careers upon the completion of their training.

Chief operative officer of UKATA, Craig Evans, said; “A simple half-day awareness course could prevent them from contracting a deadly disease and also ensure they don’t expose others to the dangers of asbestos.”

If you require assistance in pursuing an asbestos compensation claim for mesothelioma or other asbestos disease then please contact us today on our freephone number 0800 038 6767. Alternatively, head over to the ‘Contact Us’ page, complete the form and we will be in touch.

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