UKATA is a leading authority on asbestos training, a not for profit association established in 2008 with a set purpose in mind: to be recognised as the asbestos industry’s most eminent training association.
The primary focus of the association is to ensure that its members offer the highest standards of training to raise much-needed awareness of the dangers of asbestos.
2019 marked twenty years since asbestos was banned in the UK but the deadly building material is still claiming the lives of more than 1,000 tradespeople every year because of a lack of awareness of the dangers. This figure includes joiners, electricians, and plumbers, making it the single biggest cause of work-related deaths.
With asbestos used widely for decades in both residential and commercial properties prior to its ban, it is estimated to be present in thousands of buildings in the UK and contained in more than 4,000 products including loft insulation, ceiling tiles, cement fireplaces and textured ceilings. It is not always easy to identify due to it being mixed in with other materials, such as cement.
When undisturbed asbestos rarely poses a threat. However, when work is undertaken that could disturb asbestos-containing materials, there is real risk of releasing asbestos fibres. When inhaled, they can cause deadly asbestos diseases such as asbestosis and mesothelioma (terminal cancer of the lung linings).
UKATA is urging every tradesperson to ensure they undertake the appropriate level of asbestos training relevant to their role.
Craig Evans, UKATA Chief Operating Officer, explained:
“Too many people are exposing themselves to asbestos unknowingly because of a lack of awareness of the material.
“Any person who may potentially come in to contact with asbestos in their day to day work, must legally receive the correct level of information, instruction and training. Asbestos awareness training is intended to help workers avoid carrying out work that will disturb asbestos containing materials. However, for those workers who are planning work that will intentionally disturb asbestos fibres, then a higher level of asbestos training will be required.
“Since UKATA was established ten years ago, we have provided asbestos awareness training to around two million people, but this is still not enough particularly when you consider how many tradespeople there are in the UK.
“Asbestos awareness training is widely available throughout the UK. The sacrifice of half a day’s work to undertake asbestos awareness training could ultimately save your life and safeguard those around you.”
To find a UKATA approved asbestos training provider near you, visit www.ukata.org.uk or for free advice call our team on 01246 824437.