When completing the Altius ‘Risk Management’ questionnaire, it is probably quite easy to spot that the majority of mandatory questions are based around legal and regulatory compliance requirements. One of the exceptions to this is the issue of asbestos awareness training. Clearly if you are a contractor providing asbestos containment, removal or disposal services you must be competent and licensed to carry out such work. However if you are just a regular maintenance contractor, there is no legal requirement for you and your staff to have completed asbestos awareness training – so why is it an Altius requirement?
The answer is frighteningly simple: Asbestos is the largest single cause of work-related fatal disease and ill health in Britain today. This week 20 tradesmen will die, and in 2009 more people will die from asbestos related illnesses than will be killed on Britain’s roads.
If you carry out any invasive work in property built before 2000, you could unknowingly come into contact with asbestos. How do we define invasive? Well, in the face of such a malevolent hidden killer, err on the side of caution – if you are an electrician, plumber, heating & ventilation engineer, joiner, plasterer, in fact anyone who could work on the fabric of a building (ceilings, floors or walls), then a little knowledge could save your life.
Altius recommend, and some of our clients insist, that you get yourself and your staff trained by a United Kingdom Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) accredited training provider. Our advice is quite simple – get clued up with proper training now; don’t wait for Altius to insist on it.
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