Asbestos Awareness Course 2021
Who might need to take the course?
We are all at risk of some exposure to materials that have asbestos content. Some training to help recognise these materials is something that could benefit everyone.
However there are definitely individuals, companies and organisations that have a duty of care to ensure employees, members, residents, buyers or customers are not unknowingly put at risk. It would be particularly advisable for these people to have the knowledge necessary to reduce the very real risks posed. This may include:
Preparing for your Awareness Training
The training takes about 2 hours. Let others know your taking the test so you can not be disturbed. You'll need:
- A calm environment in which your unlikely to be disturbed
- Internet access that's reliable, remember each session takes 2 hours
- To turn your mobile phone off
- Some candidates state having a pen and paper handy is useful
- Your method of payment i.e. Credit / debit card, pre-paid code
- Learn to recognise Asbestos and Asbestos-containing materials
- Get the qualifications you need to do your job
Course Notices and Declarations
Introductory notes about the scope of the course and how best to learn the content.
This introduction will provide you with a summary of the purposes of the course, the scope of what it will cover and what it will enable you to do with relation to asbestos.
Introduction – Types of Work
Work relating to asbestos can be broadly defined as Licensed or Non-Licensed Work. Non-Licensed Work is split into either Notifiable Non-Licensed Work or Non-Licensed Work.
Category A is only aimed at making entrants understand the dangers involved with unknowingly coming into contact with asbestos
Non-Licensable Asbestos Work with Asbestos Containing Materials including Non-Licensable Asbestos Works
History of Asbestos
Asbestos was first used at least 4,500 years ago and has been used consistently throughout history thanks to its numerous properties.
Asbestos Around the World
As a naturally occurring mineral, the different types of asbestos are found all over the world
Types and Characteristics
Asbestos refers to six naturally occurring minerals, commonly known by their colours, as blue asbestos, brown asbestos, white asbestos, and green asbestos.
Asbestos – The Health Risks
Asbestos is the single greatest cause of work related deaths in the UK.
While asbestos is only a risk to health if asbestos fibres are breathed in it must be remembered that there is no cure for the main asbestos-related diseases.
Asbestos-Related Diseases – In Video
Please watch these two videos featuring first-hand accounts of asbestos-related illnesses and diseases to give you an understanding of the risks posed by asbestos.
Where Asbestos Can Be Found Introduction
As the use of asbestos was so widespread it may be found in any building (commercial and residential) built before 1999.
Loose Fill Asbestos
Loose asbestos lagging was used as a filling material for heat-proofing and sound-proofing and as protection against fire for pipe ducts, loft insulation and insulation between floors.
Asbestos Coatings – Spray Coatings
These uniform coatings were used to add fireproofing as well as thermal and sound proofing and anti-condensation insulation.
Asbestos Insulation and Lagging
Given its thermal retardation properties Asbestos was frequently used for insulation.
AIB and Millboards
Asbestos Insulation Boards (AIBs) and asbestos textiles were mainly used for thermal and acoustic insulation and fire protection.
Asbestos Cement and Tiles
Asbestos tiles and cements had a considerable range of uses. From industrial, commercial, domestic and public buildings, tiles and cements were used for roofing, flooring, cladding and insulation.
Asbestos Coatings – Textured Coatings
Unlike the spray coatings, textured coatings contained less asbestos, usually around 3-5%.
Asbestos Composites and Plastics
Its versatility meant asbestos was widely used within composite materials, including plastics, resins, roofing felts and sealants. Depending on use the addition of asbestos could add properties such as strength (reinforcing), flexibility and heat-resistance.
The Risks from Asbestos
Exposure to asbestos fibres is always dangerous, so you must constantly vigilant so as not to put yourself at undue risk.
If asbestos is disturbed or damaged it could become hazardous through the release of fibres into the air. Disturbing asbestos that is not in a sound condition, for example flaking or crumbling surface, or drilling, cutting, sawing or breaking ACMs can release fibres. ACMs fall into two different friability categories; Friable and Non-Friable.
Where Asbestos Can Be Found – Risks
If ACMs are disturbed or damaged, fibres can easily become airborne.
There are two types of survey that should be completed by your employer prior to starting any work
The purpose of the Management Survey is to locate and assess ACMs within the environment you’ll be working and gauge if these ACMs will be disturbed or damaged as a result of the proposed work.
If the work to be carried out goes beyond the scope of what is covered by the Management Survey then a Refurbishment and Demolition Survey (R&D) is required.
The Asbestos Register plays an important part in recording and understanding how best to manage any asbestos found or expected to be found in the relevant building(s). The register should include information on the presence and condition of any asbestos in the building.
Asbestos Management Plan
The Duty holder is responsible for writing an ‘asbestos management plan’.
Further Risks – Procedures
Any work involving maintenance, repair or even refurbishment can create the risk of damaging ACMs. In some instances, the damage caused may be accidental.
Further Risks – Accidental Damage
Any work involving maintenance, repair or even refurbishment can create the risk of damaging ACMs. How can ACMs be accidentally damaged or disturbed?
Further Risks – Accidental Discovery
By their nature ACMs can be difficult to recognise and find, so there may be times that they are found even after following your Pre-Work Assessment.
Asbestos in the Law – Origins
As seen earlier, asbestos has been used by civilisations for thousands of years. Throughout most of this time the dangers and health risks posed by asbestos were neither recognised nor understood.
Asbestos in the Law
The last 40 years has seen the passing and introduction of many laws and regulations relating to asbestos.
Duties under the Law
Legislation requires employers, landlords and building owners to protect employees, tenants and occupants from exposure to asbestos whilst they are living, working or visiting their premises.
Control of Asbestos Regulations
Looking closer at the Control of Asbestos Regulations (2012) (CAR12)