The directors of the United Kingdom Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) said that they were “extremely disappointed” by the introduction of the HSE app called Beware Asbestos. They said that it could encourage untrained people to carry out asbestos removal work.
In a statement they said: “In our considered opinion, this app does not satisfy HSE’s own guidance and gives completely the wrong message to tradespeople who may consider carrying out minor works involving asbestos. This app appears to have been produced without any input from competent asbestos trainers, and without any input from personnel experienced in asbestos works.
“Under the circumstances, we would like to state, in the strongest possible terms, that we cannot endorse this app or support it in any way.
“Our considered opinion is that the app does not adequately represent the very real risks associated with working with asbestos containing materials. More importantly, the app gives a false impression of asbestos related risk and can even encourage untrained personnel to perform asbestos work. Under the circumstances, we would strongly recommend the removal of the app from the HSE web site before further and lasting damage is incurred.”
The HSE’s app carries the rider: “The information provided is not enough to protect against all risks from asbestos. If possible, you should plan work to avoid disturbing any asbestos; if this is not possible, do not start work until you have the correct instruction, information and training to do it safely.”