Home News New Guidance from HSE on Asbestos Information, Instruction & Training (updated 1 July 2014)

New Guidance from HSE on Asbestos Information, Instruction & Training (updated 1 July 2014)

New Guidance from HSE on Asbestos Information, Instruction & Training (updated 1 July 2014)

The HSE have updated their guidance on asbestos information, instruction and training: http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/training.htm. This corresponds to the introduction of the new ACOP L143 which relates to the main Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR 2012).

What are the key points and what is behind the changes particularly in relation to ‘asbestos awareness training’?

The consensus is that too many people are still dying from asbestos related diseases, due to a lack of basic awareness of the risks. The latest Mesothelioma figures have worryingly increased by 10.7%: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/mesothelioma/mesothelioma.pdf.

Anybody who may come into contact with asbestos through the course of their work (or who supervise those persons) should receive appropriate asbestos awareness training. This is the starting point from which individuals can protect themselves from the dangers of asbestos.  It will encourage individuals to ask the right questions to employers, site managers etc. before their commencement of work.

Can anybody deliver training?

Any competent person can deliver asbestos awareness training. Competent providers of training should have adequate practical experience in the asbestos sector and a theoretical knowledge of all relevant aspects of the work being carried out by the employee.

What is most important however is that the individual providing the training is not only competent but just as important ‘engaging’. When a trainer connects the student to the subject, the information is retained by the student for a longer period.

The HSE provide a non-exhaustive list of training associations. In our experience we believe the most transparent trade association, from an end users perspective, to be IATP (Independent Asbestos Training Providers).

How often should the training be reviewed?

There is no legal requirement to repeat a formal refresher awareness training course every 12 months.  A realistic, common sense approach as to when refresher training (whether that’s e-learning or other health and safety updates) should be completed must be adopted by employers and individuals, but not dictated by training associations.

As an example, a plumber who works predominantly in older buildings will need their knowledge refreshing more often than an office worker. However, if you plan projects and supervise operatives from a desk or are responsible for their training needs then you have an obligation to those persons to ensure they are protected from the dangers of asbestos. This is particularly true when adhering to Regulation 6 of the CAR 2012.

How long are certificates valid for?

Some training associations will only validate a certificate of training for a year.  Our IATP asbestos awareness certificates are issued with no expiry date but we suggest you review an individual’s training needs on an annual basis.  However, the employer or self-employed person must decide what level of training is appropriate for their role and the frequency of that training.

What about E-learning?

The HSE recognise e-learning as a viable delivery method. We believe best results are gained from initial ‘face to face’ training which is then supported by e-learning at an appropriate later date. However, we would advise a note of caution to employers and the self-employed. The HSE explicitly state that refresher training should not be a repeat of the initial training. Don’t be fooled into sitting an e-learning course which is a bland reproduction of your initial asbestos awareness training.

We believe it is better for someone from within an organisation to take the information they have learned, maybe with the help of a specialist advisor like ourselves, to look at their own processes and experiences and shape asbestos training to an individual’s needs.

For example, a Health & Safety adviser in a building company could review specific projects, understand what went well or not so well and structure their own asbestos training based on an individual’s needs. This can be done via ‘tool box’ talks or, as we sometimes provide, pre contract training for clients about to start major works on a large site. In these cases we can use the existing survey information and project schedule to identify any gaps in the process.

Contact R B Asbestos today!

If you would like any further information on asbestos awareness training then please contact the R B Asbestos team today. R B Asbestos Consultants are proud to offer clients with IATP Category A asbestos awareness training.

Or if you would like to discuss any of the asbestos services that we offer in further detail, give us a call on 0800 141 2676 today.

If you are unable to discuss your case with our team over the phone at this time, you can also contact R B asbestos by submitting an online enquiry form.

New Guidance from HSE on Asbestos Information, Instruction & Training (updated 1 July 2014)
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