Phone Number: 01224 460 101

Mobile Number: 07540 172 393

Is Asbestos Awareness A Legal Requirement

  • Posted by:
  • Admin
  • Tags:
  • Asbestos Awareness, Asbestos Training, Risks Of Asbestos
  • Posted date:
  • 20-10-2022
Is Asbestos Awareness A Legal Requirement

Is Asbestos Awareness A Legal Requirement? In this article we look at what types of information and instructions are necessary when it comes to asbestos awareness.

Is Asbestos Awareness a legal requirement?

First of all, asbestos is absolutely a legal requirement. This is described in Regulation 10 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. The regulations state that asbestos awareness training needs to be provided and also needs to be retaught on a regular basis. This is usually thought to be at least once a year.

The reason for this regular training is that asbestos is considered to be a very serious hidden killer. Due to this, a huge amount of workers will come into contact with asbestos without them knowing and without prior planning. The science of training shows that workers tend to forget information taught on a training course quite quickly, especially in situations where the information taught is not used in day-to-day life on a regular basis. This is the case with asbestos.

Who Is In Danger Of Asbestos Exposure?

For exactly these reasons, it is absolutely vital that the knowledge of asbestos awareness is renewed regularly. If the knowledge is not refreshed, then workers are likely to forget what they have learned about asbestos, this leads to ignorance, and the statistics show that this can prove to be fatal.

This is why asbestos awareness training for all types of construction and tradespeople is more than just essential; it is important for it to be renewed on a regular basis so that workers can successfully hold onto all the knowledge that they need to protect themselves and their co-workers from the hidden killer of asbestos.

What type of information, instruction and training is necessary?

Both workers and supervisors need to be able to identify asbestos-containing materials, also known as ACMs, and know what they should do with the materials if they should come across them while working. This needs to be known to they can protect themselves and others.

There are three main levels of asbestos information, instruction and training. They relate to the following:

Asbestos Awareness

Non-licensable work with asbestos, including NNLW (Notifiable Non-Licensed Work)

Licensable work with asbestos

Simply attending a training course that relates to asbestos on its own will not make a worker competent enough to deal with asbestos-containing materials. Competence needs to be developed slowly over time.

This is done by implementing and consolidating skills that have been learnt during the training process, on-the-job learning, instruction and assessment. It is highly important that the level of knowledge, instruction and training is suitable for the work and the roles that are being undertaken by each individual worker or supervisor.

Using a training needs analysis, also known as TNA, will help to identify which topics should be covered to make sure that workers have an appropriate level of competence, so they do not put themselves or other co-workers at risk while they are working. 

Who Requires Asbestos Training?

According to the details released by the Health and Safety Executive, also known as HSE, every employer needs to make sure that anyone is likely to come across asbestos while they are working, or the individual who is supervising these employees needs to receive a suitable level of training so that they can work in a safe manner and with no risk to their health due to any exposure to asbestos fibres.

Workers and supervisors also need to be able to identify asbestos-containing materials or ACMs and know exactly what they should do with them if they should come across them while working. Asbestos awareness training is a key part of that education.

Any courses that are created by the Asbestos Awareness Certificate Company, have been approved by the Independent Asbestos Training Providers, and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, are aimed toward workers that may disturb asbestos or an item that contains asbestos while they are working.

Below is a list of all the job roles that need to have asbestos awareness training. They include: 

Building surveyors

Shop fitters



Computer or data installers

Construction workers

Fire and burglar alarm installers

Painters and decorators

Telecommunication engineers


Demolition workers


Heating and ventilation engineers



Gas fitters

General maintenance workers

Asbestos Awareness

Of course, there are other occupations where asbestos may need to be dealt with besides the ones that have been listed above.

Workers that are self-employed need to make sure that they have the correct level of instruction in order to protect themselves from asbestos, as well as ensure that they are not putting others a risk due to their work activities.

Although asbestos awareness is a legal requirement, there is no legal requirement for workers to have a certificate of training before they can actually work with asbestos. However, an asbestos certification can form a part of an individual's training record. This will then exhibit the individual's knowledge and experience if they choose to change employers.

What Should be Covered in Asbestos Training?

It is of the utmost importance that when choosing a training provider, one is chosen that covers all of the necessary aspects of asbestos awareness and management. For legal reasons, the training needs to include information on all of the following reasons:

How to identify asbestos and asbestos-containing materials (or ACMs).

What a worker should do if they encounter asbestos or ACMs, in order to avoid the inhaling of disturbed asbestos fibres.

The health risks of being exposed to asbestos.

How exposure to asbestos can increase the likelihood of developing a varier of lung cancer, and how this risk can be multiplied by smoking.

How you can work safely with asbestos. This includes control measures and the use of protective equipment.

What a worker should do in an emergency involving sudden asbestos exposure.

Section 10 of the Control of Asbestos Regulation 2012 describes that "information, instruction and training must be given at regular intervals". This spotlights the need for regular refreshing of information.

This means that employees can keep up to date with all of the latest advances in asbestos management, but it can also mean that awareness of asbestos is raised and safe practices are kept at the forefront of workers' minds.

What are the risks of Asbestos?

In total, there are around five thousand people every year that die from asbestos-related diseases. This is a rate that is reportedly at crisis levels. The rate of mesothelioma, a type of frightful cancer that affects the lining of the chest or abdominal cavities and is in almost all cases fatal, has nearly doubled in the previous twenty years. Around 85% of those who were diagnosed were men.

It is very easy for workers to be exposed to asbestos without them knowing it. This can be either from their own activities or from work tasks that are being undertaken by other individuals. If you walk into a building that was built before the year 2000, then it is highly likely that the property is full of asbestos. In years past, asbestos was used in almost all types of building materials. This includes floors, walls, ceilings, electrical products, and insulation.

The list goes on and on. Unfortunately, it is extremely easy to disturb all of the lethal fibres unwittingly. There is a huge range of simple maintenance tasks that would usually be low-risk but can very easily release asbestos fibres. One example would be the simple act of either drilling or sanding a surface. This can make the asbestos fibres airborne.

The situation only becomes even more complicated and dangerous as often it can be someone else's work that leads to the asbestos being disturbed. As long as you are in the general area when someone has disturbed the asbestos, then you are at great risk.

Why is Asbestos Training Important?

Providing asbestos training to employees is an easy way for employers to ensure that their workers' health is protected, as well as simultaneously fulfil their legal duties.

Training equips workers with vital information about asbestos, and engagement with training on a regular basis will ensure that awareness of asbestos risks is raised. How the risks can be mitigated is discussed too.

Workers need to be armed with all the knowledge and skills to protect their own health while working but the health of their co-workers and the general public too.

 Are you looking for asbestos training in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire? For any extra information regarding asbestos training, you can follow the links below to find out more: