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What Is Asbestos Awareness

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  • 21-09-2022
What Is Asbestos Awareness

What is asbestos awareness? We look at what is asbestos awareness training and what type of instruction and training is necessary?

What is asbestos awareness training?

Before you can know precisely who asbestos awareness training is perfect for, you first need to know what the process of asbestos awareness training covers. Asbestos awareness training is the most fundamental base level of asbestos training.

It is a common misconception that asbestos awareness training is for people who need to work with or need to remove asbestos professionally. In actuality, asbestos awareness training is for people who need to know how to avoid the asbestos.

As we're sure that you already know, asbestos is a very deadly material. it can lead to extremely painful and fatal lung diseases. In the past, asbestos was commonly used as a building material for all different kinds of structures. This means it can still be found in houses, apartments, stores, and other physical locations.

Is Asbestos Awareness A Legal Requirement?

The asbestos awareness training course will cover the following:

All the various forms of asbestos that you may find in buildings

The different properties that asbestos holds

The effects that asbestos can have on health

The increased risks that are associated with asbestos

All the places that you may come across asbestos

Emergency procedures that are associated with asbestos

What Is Asbestos Awareness Training?

The aim of the asbestos awareness training course is not to teach workers how they should remove asbestos. If you are going to be physically working with asbestos, then you will be needed much further and higher levels of training. You will also need a license, depending on the types of asbestos that you will be dealing with. The higher levels of training for working with asbestos can include:

Licensable working with asbestos

Non-licensable working with asbestos, this includes NNLW

As we mentioned earlier, asbestos awareness training is not for working directly with asbestos. The asbestos awareness training process is to ensure that people who will be working near asbestos will know how to act appropriately. The training gives workers who might be working near asbestos materials a complete understanding of all the risks associated with asbestos.

This means that they can avoid becoming ill due to the dangerous material and its often fatal fibres. mWorkers who have gone through the process of asbestos awareness training will have a much greater understanding of what asbestos actually is, as well as why the material is highly dangerous and where asbestos might be found in a property. 

Workers will also be taught about the steps that they will need to take when they are first starting a project. They must first check for asbestos and then proceed to work as safely as possible when near the material.

What type of instruction & training is necessary?

Workers and supervisors need to be able to identify any asbestos-containing materials, also known as ACMs, and what they should do if they, unfortunately, come across any ACMs in order to protect themselves and anyone else working on the site.There are three primary levels of information, instruction, and training relating to asbestos. They are listed below:

Asbestos awareness

Non-licensable working with asbestos

Licensable working with asbestos

Simply attending a training course in an isolated incident will not make a worker completely competent to work with asbestos. Competence is something that needs to be slowly developed over time by consolidating and implementing skills that have been learnt during the training process, as well as learning that has been done on the job. Instruction and assessment are also vital.

It is important to remember the specific level of information, training, and instruction that is appropriate for the role and work that has been undertaken by each of the workers and supervisors. Using a training needs analysis, also known as a TNA, will help with the identification of which topics need to be covered to make sure that the workers will have the right level of competency to ensure that they are not putting themselves or others at high risk.

Asbestos Awareness

Information, instruction, and training for asbestos awareness are designed in order to give supervisors and workers all the information that they may need to avoid making mistakes that can disturb asbestos during any normal working that may have an effect on the fabric of a property or an item that may contain the material asbestos.

Asbestos awareness is not designed to prepare workers, or self-employed contractors, on how they should carry out work with asbestos-containing materials. If a worker has plans to carry out any type of work that is certain to disturb ACMs, then deeper information, instruction and training will be required.

Examples of those who will be affected are listed below. Keep in mind that there are other occupations where asbestos may be disturbed in addition to those that are listed.





Construction Workers

Gas fitters


Heating & ventilation engineers

Telecommunication engineers

General maintenance workers

Painters & decorators



Building surveyors

Computer & data installers

Fire / burglar alarm installers

Asbestos Awareness

How workers should avoid the risk of exposure to asbestos

The procedures that need to be carried out when dealing with an asbestos emergency. For example, an uncontrolled and unplanned release of asbestos dust while work is taking place

The types, uses, and occurrences of asbestos and asbestos materials that can be found in buildings and other structures

The various properties that asbestos holds and the effects it has on a person's health. This includes the increased risk of developing a form of lung cancer for asbestos workers who smoke.

Is asbestos awareness training a legal requirement?

Absolutely, it is illegal to work with asbestos without having asbestos awareness training. Asbestos awareness is necessary by law under the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR). Listed below:

10.—(1) Every employer must ensure that any employee employed by that employer is 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

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 Information, instruction and training

Regulation 10 then goes to detail the full contents and information that need to be included in the training process in order to provide full awareness to the employees. The accompanying code of practice for the regulations then goes on to further detail the requirements relating to providing training:

225 Employers have a duty to ensure that the information, instruction and training given to their employees is adequate to allow them to safeguard themselves and other employees and to carry out their work with asbestos effectively.

HSE Managing and working with asbestos pg.54

And then again below:

232 Asbestos awareness training should be given to employees whose work could foreseeably disturb the fabric of a building and expose them to asbestos or who supervise or influence the work.

HSE Managing and working with asbestos pg.54

It is a legal requirement always to provide the necessary and appropriate level of asbestos training, but this knowledge also needs to be refreshed on a regular basis. Certificates for asbestos awareness do not last forever, and eventually, they will expire. It is important that workers keep asbestos awareness on their minds at all times while working to ensure that they do not become complacent with the checks that need to be done. A statement relating to the refreshing of knowledge is described below:

(2) The information, instruction and training required by paragraph (1) must be—given at regular intervals;

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 Information, instruction and training

Who Do the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 Apply to?

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 is the primary regulation that relates to the prevention and the control of any exposure to asbestos.

There are two main sets of duty holders who hold the responsibility for complying with the regulations.

Firstly, it is important to note that the regulations apply to all people who have a responsibility for the maintenance and the repairs of a non-domestic space, some examples of these would be buildings and other structures, as well as their surroundings.

Of course, this applies to the building owners as well.

It also includes those who are responsible for the property or specific areas of the building. This is the case whether the individual has a contract for their work or not.

Control Of Asbestos Regulations 2012

Employers are also considered to be duty holders who have legal duties under the Regulations if they are overseeing any work that is likely to involve their employees becoming exposed to asbestos.

In addition to this, employers also need to identify if asbestos is present, as well as carry out risk assessments in order to outline the measures that need to be taken so that asbestos exposure can be managed. Employers also need to create a written plan of work for all work that involves asbestos before the work begins.

 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: