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Who Is Required To Take Asbestos Awareness Cat A Training

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  • 23-06-2023
Who Is Required To Take Asbestos Awareness Cat A Training

Who is required to take asbestos awareness category A training? Astec Consultants Ltd provides asbestos awareness category A training for  Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire This article explores what type of asbestos awareness training is necessary and who needs category A asbestos training?

What is Asbestos Awareness Training?

Asbestos used to be a wonder material. A natural substance that offered fantastic insulation and fire protection. There are countless older buildings that have asbestos in their walls thanks to these useful qualities. 

However, in 1999 the use of asbestos was banned in the UK since it is an extremely hazardous substance. Data from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) notes that over 5,000 deaths a year are caused by exposure to asbestos.

The diseases caused by asbestos usually take many years to become noticeable. But they all have deadly consequences for those infected. Asbestos causes a range of illnesses including mesothelioma and lung cancer, along with other non-malignant diseases. 

Today, specialists spend most of their time removing asbestos, rather than installing it. To safeguard people's health and safety, it's prudent to always be aware of areas that contain asbestos.

You must act appropriately when in these areas, such as knowing what to do if you disturb the asbestos. Those most likely to encounter the material include construction workers and landlords, meaning they must undergo adequate asbestos training. There are three main types of asbestos training in the UK:

 Asbestos Awareness Training (Category A)

 Non-Licensed Asbestos Training (Cat. B)

 Licensed Asbestos Training (Category C)

This article will focus mainly on the first type of training. We'll discuss why this training is so important for our health and safety and which professionals must undergo this training. 

What type of Asbestos awareness training is necessary?

Any contractors or supervisors working in construction must be able to recognise ACMs (Asbestos-Containing Materials). 

This allows them to take quick action when these materials are discovered. They must also know what to do when they encounter these materials to protect themselves and those they work with. It's not enough to simply undergo the Asbestos Awareness Training (Category A) course.

You must develop the skills you need over time. On-the-job training is perhaps the most useful, as it demonstrates what needs to happen in a real working environment when you encounter asbestos. Whether you are a worker or a supervisor, you must receive the right amount of training and information for your role. 

Different jobs require different levels of training, depending on your responsibilities on site. A Training Needs Analysis (TNA) will determine which topics you must understand. This will also ensure everyone working with you has an appropriate level of competence when dealing with asbestos to avoid causing injury to themselves or others. 

Who Is Required To Take Asbestos Awareness Category A Training?

What Should Asbestos Awareness Training Cover?

Asbestos Awareness Training is best for those who might encounter asbestos during their work, but aren't responsible for handling or removing the material. Even if you don't directly work with asbestos-containing materials, you may still be at risk of exposure. Therefore, awareness training gives you the skills to spot these materials and what to do when you encounter them.

This is the most basic level of asbestos training, but it is vital for health and safety purposes. Being able to identify asbestos and mitigate the risk of exposure if the asbestos is disturbed could save your life. Those undergoing this training will finish with the basic skills and knowledge to keep themselves and others safe when at work. 

The HSE has stated what level of information and training someone must have to competently work in areas where there is a risk of asbestos. For this basic level of training, workers should receive the following information and instruction:

  • The physical properties of asbestos and how to identify it.
  • The harmful effects of asbestos exposure, including the increased risk of lung cancer for exposed workers who smoke.
  • The most common types of asbestos and asbestos-containing materials used in buildings and plant.
  • How best to avoid exposing yourself to asbestos by using control measures which are put in place to manage these incidents.
  • The safety procedures all workers must follow during an emergency. For example, what to do if there is an uncontrolled release of asbestos dust in the area you are working in. 

Is Asbestos Awareness Training a Legal Requirement?

If you work in environments where you are likely to encounter asbestos, it is a legal requirement you receive the right amount of training. This is stated in the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. To quote the regulations:

"Every employer must ensure that [their] employee[s] are given adequate information, instruction and training where that employee is, or is liable to be, exposed to asbestos, or if that employee supervises such employees".

This is to ensure any workers or employees can carry out their duties safely. It is the employer's legal responsibility to ensure their employees have an adequate level of asbestos training to keep them safe at work. Ensuring workplace safety is a key duty for any employer or manager, and this includes asbestos training.

Is Asbestos Awareness Training A Legal Requirement?

Again, Asbestos Awareness Training (Category A) is the bare minimum that anyone who might encounter asbestos in their work should have. This is a legal requirement and extends to those who are at a greater risk of disturbing asbestos during their regular work. People in this category will include anyone who has to disturb the materials of a building in the course of their daily duties, such as construction workers or those maintaining buildings known to contain asbestos.

As an employer, you must accurately assess the level of risk your employees might be exposed to during their work. This is the same for general working hazards and asbestos exposure. You must therefore ensure your employees have the right level of training to handle the risks you think they could encounter. If your employees' work involves deliberately disturbing asbestos, such as during removals, they must receive a higher level of training.

Alongside the basic asbestos awareness course, they must have more in-depth information, instruction and training to know how to handle the risks of disturbing asbestos. If you aren't sure what level of training your employees need, you can consult the HSE website or the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 to determine your legal responsibilities. 

Who needs category A Asbestos training?

Those most likely to need the basic level of asbestos awareness training include:

 General maintenance workers




 Painters and decorators


 Construction workers



 Gas fitters

 Heating and ventilation engineers

 Demolition workers

 Telecommunication engineers

 Fire/burglar alarm installers

 Computer and data installers


 Building surveyors

Who Does the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 Apply?

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 is the main set of rules that deal with preventing and controlling workers' exposure to asbestos-containing materials. It states there are two main sets of people who have overall responsibility for ensuring the Regulations are followed when working with asbestos.

The first of these is anyone responsible for maintaining and repairing non-domestic buildings. This means commercial or industrial properties and any buildings surrounding them. This includes the owners of these buildings as well as their maintenance teams.

The second set of people responsible for upholding the regulations are employers. If they are overseeing work that has an increased risk of asbestos exposure, the employers must ensure the regulations are followed and adequate training is provided to their workers. Before the work starts, employers must survey the buildings they are working on to determine the likelihood of asbestos exposure.

They can then create a risk assessment and put safety measures in place in case of an uncontrolled release of hazardous asbestos dust. They can also create a plan of work to maintain the other fabrics in the building they are working on to mitigate asbestos exposure. 

Who Does The Control Of Asbestos Regulations 2012 Apply?

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