UKATA’s asbestos campaign vital to trade person safety

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Free Asbestos Awareness training is available to small businesses, sole traders and DIY enthusiasts from members of the UK Asbestos Training Association between 1 September and 31 October 2016 as part of the Train Safe, Work Safe, Keep Safe campaign.

Craig Evans, General Manager of UKATA

Train Safe, Work Safe, Keep Safe is a campaign we’ve put a lot of backing into since its inception two years ago. Given the dangers asbestos presents us all with, the campaign is extremely useful and informative for anyone in the trade industry.

The UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) says its Train Safe, Work Safe, Keep Safe campaign is vital to the safety of tradespeople throughout the Health and Safety industry, following its launch at this year’s Safety and Health Expo (SHE) on 21-23 June. The campaign promotes general asbestos awareness and safety advice, as well as explaining in detail the importance of correct handling of asbestos.

The campaign forms part of the ongoing commitment of UKATA and its members to emphasise the importance of sourcing a competent training provider and the Health and safety Executive (HSE) advice that workers and supervisors must be trained to recognise Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) and be able to know what to do should they encounter them.

UKATA members have been taking part in Train Safe, Work Safe, Keep Safe over the last two years by offering free asbestos training courses during September and October. Last year, members of the Association involved in the campaign offered over 3,500 hours of free asbestos training, in an attempt to further raise the profile of the importance of the correct handling of asbestos. Now back for 2016, UKATA’s General Manager, Craig Evans, says the campaign is crucial for all tradespeople.

“Train Safe, Work Safe, Keep Safe is a campaign we’ve put a lot of backing into since its inception two years ago,” said Craig. “Given the dangers asbestos presents us all with, the campaign is extremely useful and informative for anyone in the trade industry.”

The UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) saw a resoundingly positive response from key audiences to the launch of its Train Safe, Work Safe, Keep Safe campaign at this year’s SHE, the Association’s third appearance at the Expo. Craig says the relevance and importance of Train Safe, Work Safe, Keep Safe is evident, with statistics showing that around 5,000 people die every year in the UK as a result of breathing in asbestos fibres.

“Better awareness on asbestos safety precautions, and the material itself in general, is something we strive to promote at UKATA,” said Craig. “This campaign is just one of those avenues. Asbestos remains the biggest single cause of work related deaths in the UK, so we’re always doing everything we can to change perceptions and attitudes.”                                                                                                

The facts on asbestos make for uncomfortable reading. For those tradespeople with a cavalier approach, asbestos is estimated to be present in many buildings with 1.5 million public buildings believed to contain asbestos. Over 75 per cent of school buildings still contain asbestos and more than 140 teachers have died from mesothelioma in the last ten years.

“Ignorance isn’t an excuse when it comes to asbestos,” said Craig. “People must be informed and aware of the dangers asbestos presents so as not to harm either themselves or others. There must be a change in attitudes when it comes to asbestos, and Train Safe, Work Safe, Keep Safe can do that,” he concluded.

UKATA exists to set and verify standards and to emphasise the importance of best practice in training when it comes to the safe handling, removal and disposal of asbestos. Tasked by the HSE in 2008 for taking-on, managing and developing the list of training providers for licensed asbestos work in the UK, UKATA is now the leading authority in all levels of asbestos training in the UK. A full list of Training Providers can be found by visiting: http://www.ukata.org.uk/training-provider-directory/web-category/asbestos-awareness/

For further information on UKATA, visit http://www.ukata.org.uk or call 01246 824 437 where a member of the UKATA Team will be happy to speak with you.

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