Asbestos Awareness Training: What You Need to Know

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was once commonly used in construction materials. This includes insulation, shingles, and floor tiles. When inhaled, asbestos fibers can lead to long term health issues such as mesothelioma and asbestosis, both of which can be life threatening. This is why asbestos regulations were put in place to ensure that those who may come into contact with the mineral are being protected from potential health problems.

Regulation 10 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 requires asbestos awareness training for any worker who may come into contact with asbestos. This includes construction workers, demolition crews, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, and HVAC technicians. Even if you don’t work with asbestos directly, you may still be at risk if you work in an environment where asbestos was used.

Most asbestos awareness courses are offered online and can be completed in a few hours. They are typically offered by safety training companies, labor unions, or contractors. The course will cover the following topics:

• What asbestos is and where it can be found

• How workers can come into contact with asbestos and the health risks of doing so

• What to do if you find asbestos at a job site

Many employers require an initial or refresher course before allowing their employees to work in environment where asbestos may be present. If your employer requires you to complete asbestos awareness training, check whether the course you are taking is adequate for your work role. Some workers will require special training, and those looking to work directly with and remove asbestos will require a more intensive training course.

Why is asbestos so dangerous?

Over 5000 people in the UK die from asbestos related diseases every year.

Asbestos and other forms of respirable crystalline silica dust can cause life-threatening diseases. Silicosis, asbestosis, and mesothelioma are all caused by breathing in particles that contain asbestos or other types of silica dust. When you disturb asbestos, the fibers can become airborne and be easily inhaled.

Even though asbestos can remain in a safe state for years, construction work can easily disturb asbestos and put workers at risk. Asbestos awareness training will teach you how to identify asbestos-containing materials and how to work safely around them.

Lung cancer was found to be the leading cause of death for those who have been exposed to asbestos. Becoming asbestos aware can help protect you and any colleagues from life-threatening illnesses.

Inhalation or ingestion of any asbestos fiber can cause serious illness. Asbestos awareness training teaches workers how to identify the substance and prevent exposures from occurring in the first

How long does it take to complete asbestos awareness training?

Asbestos Awareness courses can usually be completed in a few hours when taking an online asbestos awareness course. If you need to qualify for an asbestos license, then you would need to complete a more comprehensive asbestos training program.

How to take an Asbestos Awareness Training course

Many asbestos awareness courses can be completed online, and most will only take a few hours. Many of these training programs include videos and interactive content that is designed to teach workers about the risks of asbestos exposure and what they need to do if they come into contact with it.


What is asbestos and where can it be found?

Most people are familiar with “asbestos” but may not understand what it is exactly. Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that was once used in the construction industry for its fire resistant properties

Asbestos is a natural mineral, and was used in insulation materials such as ceiling tiles, drywall joint compound, thermal system insulation board (TSI), and flooring. Asbestos awareness training will teach workers where asbestos can be found and how to identify it.

What are the health risks of asbestos exposure?

The inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers can result in serious health risks such as lung cancer, mesothelioma and nonmalignant pleural disease. Symptoms of exposure may not appear for 20 to 40 years after exposure occurs. Asbestos awareness training will teach workers about the health risks associated with asbestos exposure and how to protect themselves from these dangers.

Asbestos is linked to increased risk of pulmonary diseases such as:

Cancers such as the following:

Pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, lung cancer, laryngeal cancer, and ovarian cancer.

Other diseases such as:

Pleural effusion, pleural plaque, asbestos-related bronchitis, and asbestosis.

What should I do if I find asbestos at a job site?

If you are ever unfortunate enough to come across asbestos while working, it is important to know what to do. As always, it is important to consult your supervisor before taking any action, but generally the following tips should be followed:

  • Alert others in the immediate area about what is happening so they can also stay away from potential harm. If you are not in charge of this site, then contact the person in charge.
  • Stay away from any equipment or machinery that may further disturb the material and release fibers into the air.
  • Do not try to remove or disturb the asbestos on your own. Asbestos is a hazardous material and should only be handled by a professional.

If you have been exposed to asbestos, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Some health problems related to asbestos exposure may not appear until many years later.

Who needs asbestos awareness training?

Employers need to provide asbestos awareness training for all employees who may be exposed to asbestos fibers in the workplace. Buildings constructed before the year 2000 may still contain asbestos, so those working in residential environments could be at risk. A comprehensive asbestos awareness training course will provide workers with all the information they require to recognize possible asbestos-containing materials in any given circumstance so that they can protect themselves from exposure. Keep in mind that those involved in the removal of asbestos-containing materials will require further intensive training, as well as special protective equipment.

Standout Academy offers and approved online asbestos awareness training with a nationally accredited asbestos awareness training certificate upon successful completion. Book your online training today to become asbestos aware.