Up until February 2020, an average of 18,000 workers a month completed asbestos training. Between March and August, an average of just 6,000 workers a month undertook asbestos training delivered by UKATA-approved training providers, a fall of more than 66%.
UKATA chief operating officer Craig Evans said: “Our concern is health and safety training is being overlooked as construction sites push to make up for time lost during the lockdown. This not only increases construction workers’ risk of exposure to deadly asbestos but also the buildings’ users.”
The HSE recommends that asbestos refresher training courses should be undertaken to help ensure knowledge of asbestos awareness is maintained. The asbestos regulations also make it clear that asbestos training for non-licensable and licensable asbestos works should be carried out at least annually.
Craig Evans added: “It is now vitally important that all construction employers and workers ensure that all asbestos training is up-to-date. These are difficult times, but this is a matter of life or death.”