Firms need to be asbestos aware

“Despite already being a legal requirement, it’s clear that employers are still not doing enough to train their workforce when it comes to asbestos awareness.” Says Ron Heyfron, Head of the Asbestos Aware Contractors Scheme training body (AACS).

A new Approved Code of Practice (ACoP), due to become part of Health and Safety legislation this autumn, gives the clearest, most specific guidance to date on the need for employers to adequately educate their workforce on the risks associated with asbestos.

Under current Health and Safety legislation, there already exists a requirement for employers to train employees if they risk potential exposure to asbestos during their everyday work – yet a constant stream of prosecutions shows that many organisations are not doing enough. The ACoP will, for the first time, set down guidelines on which non-licensed workers are considered most at risk; how they should be trained; and the frequency, length and cost of that training.

The draft cites almost all allied trades as persons liable to be exposed to asbestos while carrying out normal duties and recommends that those workers should be receiving at least a half day’s formal training every two years.

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