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How to Test for Asbestos

how to test for asbestos

Asbestos is a dangerous substance that is still affecting thousands of people in the UK. According to Cancer Research UK, there were 2,496 deaths caused by Mesothelioma in the UK in 2016. Cancers such as this are a consequence of inhaling hazardous asbestos fibres that stick to the lining of the lungs, contributing towards cell mutation. Despite asbestos being banned in 1999, there are still many buildings that contain the harmful substance. For this reason, it is vital that you test for asbestos in a residence or building that is over 15 years old.

Identifying asbestos materials and testing them is not an easy job, and even those who have taken an online asbestos awareness training course before need a refresher course at regular intervals. SSD Online Asbestos has compiled this handy guide on how to safely test for asbestos on your work premises.

Where Should you Test for Asbestos?

  • Any cement products that contain asbestos materials (usually found in shed or garage roofs and walls, drain pipes, soffits and partitions).
  • Textured coatings on walls and ceilings.
  • Floor tiles, textiles and composites.
  • Ceilings, walls and beams/columns that have been given sprayed coatings.
  • Asbestos insulating board – these can be found in: partition walls, fireproofing panels in fire doors, lift shaft linings, ceiling tiles, soffits, panels below windows.
  • Lagging found in or on heating systems.
  • Loose asbestos in ceiling or floor cavity.
  • Water cisterns and pipes.
  • Guttering.

Any building developed pre-2000 is unlikely to contain asbestos. However, anyone who is responsible for the uptake, maintenance and repair of a building should make themselves asbestos aware and being vigilant of its presence.

Any old electrical equipment is manufactured before 2000 is likely to contain asbestos and must be labelled correctly. If possible, try to ask the equipment manufacturer or service engineer for more information on the type of asbestos used.


How to Prepare for Asbestos Testing

When preparing to test a site for asbestos, it is vital that you have as much information on the building as possible. This will determine whether asbestos is existent within the building.

  • Obtain any records of previous asbestos work.
  • Make dialogue with the previous owners or tenants of the building.
  • If you have a facilities management company, speak to them.
  • Check all equipment with supplies and repairers.
  • Speak to the building designer, builder or architect.

There will be cases when you are unsure of where the asbestos is on your premises. If you are, then an asbestos management survey is needed. An asbestos management survey makes sure that no person will be harmed by the activities taking place within the building. This report will give you details of the types of asbestos present, the location of asbestos, extent of the fibres, condition and any treatment to the surface.

With this report in place, you can make the choice between hiring an asbestos trained contractor or a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) licensed contractor.


How to Test for Asbestos

When testing for asbestos, you should never break a piece off when sending for sampling. If the piece has fallen off naturally, then it can be sent away. If there isn’t a risk of spreading the debris or being exposed to the dust, you can carry this off yourself without the need for an asbestos trained contractor.

If there is a risk of exposure, you must call in a UKAS accredited laboratory to come in and collect the asbestos samples. UKAS will have the specialist equipment required to stop them from being exposed to any dangers.

Having made sure there are no safety risks, this is how you test for asbestos:

  1. Dampen your asbestos sample.
  2. Place your asbestos sample within a self-sealing polythene bag.
  3. Put the bag within another self-sealing bag.
  4. Label exactly what the asbestos sample is.
  5. Make arrangements with an asbestos testing laboratory.

Once you receive the results from the lab, there are a number of actions that need to take place afterwards. If the asbestos containing materials (ACMs) can be left it place, it is the duty of staff to make sure that:

  • All information on the location and condition of the asbestos is filed and kept up to date.
  • All staff on site that need to know about the asbestos and its locations must be informed. E.g. Maintenance workers and contractors.
  • ACMs need to be clearly labelled with a warning sign. A warning system could be put up in place instead.
  • Before anyone starts their work on site, those who will work around materials containing asbestos must be informed. When asking for a quote for a job, you must agree any precautions to prevent any exposure.

Make sure you seek advice before removing any asbestos and follow all basic rules when carrying out asbestos cement removal. Always hire a licensed contractor when removing asbestos lagging, spray coating or areas or large areas of insulation board.


Where can I take Asbestos Awareness Training Online?

SSD Online Asbestos specialists offer a number of asbestos awareness training courses. We offer IATP approved, RoSPA approved and UKATA approved asbestos awareness courses online. These online awareness courses take two hours to complete, which will give you all of the asbestos training you need. They also include a final test to fully challenge your asbestos awareness.

In previous blogs, we have covered exactly which asbestos training course you should take if you’re a carpenter, construction worker or any type of tradesperson. Depending on your asbestos awareness needs, you can find the right course for you. Single and bulk packages are available at competitive prices for all trades.

If your asbestos awareness license has expired or is about to expire, get in touch today to find out how you can book your next online asbestos awareness course.

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Everything You Need to Know About IATP

iatp asbestos

Who are IATP?

The Independent Asbestos Training Providers offers customers a comprehensive list of asbestos training providers within the UK. Working in cooperation with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), IATP make sure that all providers are independently audited to ensure the highest quality of training is provided. Because of this, they only lists those training providers who have submitted documentary evidence to prove their compliance with regulations.

Why did IATP form?

IATP’s purpose is to direct customers to the best Asbestos training providers in the UK. Wherever you are based, their database will find a selection of providers within your desired mile radius. As asbestos still poses a threat today, IATP understand the need for workers to gain the right certificates which are legally required.

As a non-for-profit organisation, IATP support Asbestos related charities as they help raise awareness of the dangers of being exposed to asbestos fibres. IATP are proud supporters of the HSE’s Asbestos: Hidden Killer Campaign as roughly 20 tradesmen die a week because of exposure to asbestos. They also support charities such as the British Lung Foundation and Mesothelioma UK.

What types of training do IATP support?

Employers are legally required to provide asbestos training to all employees who might come across asbestos during their day-to-day tasks. All staff intentionally working with asbestos (builders, contractors, plumbers etc.), must have adequate training to minimise all risks of asbestos exposure during tasks.

Asbestos Awareness [formerly Type A]

For work on a site that has no intention of removing any asbestos present on a building built before 2000, then asbestos awareness training is what is required. This training will helps avoid potential risks and reduce chances of asbestos being disturbed.

Non-Licensed Asbestos Work [formerly Type B]

This training is designed for those workers that will be completing projects around low-risk types of asbestos. It is likely that there is an increased chance of disturbing it. This training is needed for maintenance workers and their supervisors as well as those who complete asbestos analysis and sampling.

Licensed Asbestos Work [formerly Type C]

Those companies with a HSE license who work with asbestos or remove high risk asbestos require Licensable Work with Asbestos Training. Task-specific information, instruction and training must also be provided to all employees.

Why choose a IATP training provider?

Online Asbestos offer IATP Asbestos Awareness Training Courses. Here are some reasons why you should choose IATP online asbestos training with Online Asbestos:

    • All training materials and examinations are completely audited and approved by IATP.
    • Our professional tutors and provide comprehensive email support for all candidates.
    • Access to the training is full automated and available 24 hours a day
    • Course Management and Tutor Presentation are audited by IATP themselves.
  • All IATP Training Providers generate an IATP Online Certificate with a certificate number unique to you.

For more information on the IATP Asbestos Awareness Training Course or any of our asbestos awareness courses, contact us today.

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Why Asbestos Still Poses a Threat Today

Why Asbestos Still Poses a Threat

The deadly threat from exposure to asbestos is not leaving us just yet. Because of its widespread usage in worldwide construction for much of the 20th century, the next asbestos linked scandal is never far away. The Guardian found that “every year, more people die from asbestos exposure than road traffic accidents.” Despite being banned in the UK in 1999, asbestos is still found within 12,600 schools across England and families are still being awarded compensation for the loss of loved ones due to asbestos related deaths. Because of this, asbestos remains an ever present threat.

What are the known health effects of asbestos?

When the human lungs are exposed to asbestos fibres, the body is attacked for decades after any initial contact with them. This happens because the fibres stick to lungs which then cause scarring and mutation. This is likely to lead to asbestos related diseases such as Mesothelioma – an aggressive form of cancer which leaves little chance of survival. Asbestos is also known to cause cancer within ovaries and the larynx as well as gastrointestinal cancer. A smoking habit also greatly increases the risks of lung cancer after those lungs have been exposed to asbestos.

Who is still mining asbestos?

in 2015, Russia mined 1 million metric tonnes of asbestos. India, Thailand and Indonesia are still known to be using asbestos as part of their construction work – alarmingly, its use is unregulated in these countries. The US still allows for a very small use of asbestos in car brake pads and floor tiles.

How much asbestos is still present in the western world?

The western world has shunned the use of asbestos and most countries have banned its use and asbestos productions completely. With countries like China still using thousands of metric tonnes of asbestos each year, products containing asbestos still end up being shipped to the western world.

Despite its ban, there are many buildings across the world that still contain asbestos. Disturbing these asbestos deposits poses a huge health risk when breathing in the fibres of the contaminated air.

Why is asbestos still used today?

Asbestos is a cheaply mined fibre that can be used in various ways due to its unusual fire resistance and durability. The only commercially available asbestos fibre is Chrysotile, a white asbestos which makes up for 95% of the asbestos in the US. The asbestos industry continue to champion the use of Chrysotile, as they claim it is a safer asbestos fibre to work with. The International Chrysotile Association say that the body’s immune cells can break down the asbestos fibres within the lungs. It is campaigning like this by the asbestos industry that has stopped asbestos becoming a prominent global issue.  

The World Health Organization dismissed the evidence presented by the asbestos industry. A motion to ban the substance worldwide was put forward to the Rotterdam Convention in 2015 but Belarus, India, Kazakhstan, Russia, Syria and Zimbabwe all voted against the ban of Chrysotile. This was because a unanimous vote had to be achieved for an outright ban. It has since been blocked again from being placed on the harmful substances list in 2017.

Are there new fibres fibres that can replace asbestos?

Yes. Materials such as steel, glass and ceramic fibres can be used instead of asbestos. Calcium silicate and even perlite and silica can be used in other applications. These materials do cost more than asbestos but with the huge health benefits, the extra costs should not be balked at when it comes to considering public health.

How can I take an online asbestos awareness course?

Taking those steps to be educated on the dangers and health risks of asbestos is vital. If you’re a construction worker, private contractor or any type of tradesperson, you need to be vigilant of the presence of asbestos within in buildings erected before the year 2000. SSD Online Asbestos offer asbestos awareness courses online that are IATP approved, RoSPA approved and UKATA approved.

The threat of asbestos is still very much alive. Until the entire world comes together to eradicate the use of asbestos in the US and the developing world, asbestos related deaths are only going to increase. Until the asbestos industry cease to profit from the harmful substance, asbestos exposure will still pose a threat to public health well into the 21st century.

Contact us today to find out more information on our asbestos awareness courses and how you can book your course today.

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Unexpected Places Where You May Find Asbestos

asbestos hiding in the home

Asbestos remains a very deadly threat to the world with an average of 5,000 workers dying each year from asbestos related illnesses such as asbestosis and mesothelioma. With its prevalent use in construction work and other industries before 1999, the chances of finding asbestos in unusual places is surprisingly high. Before the dangers of asbestos fibres was proved to the world, many mundane household items were using asbestos as part of their manufacturing process.

Here at SSD Online Asbestos, we have compiled a list of the most unexpected places where you may find asbestos, as a way of reminding how vigilant we have to be to avoid inhaling its dangerous fibres.


1. Books

Reading is probably one of the most low risk activities a person may partake in. However, did you know that books have been found to have been bound with asbestos? Some bookbinders in the mid 1900’s were exposed to asbestos because of this manufacturing process. Most famously, the first editions of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury were released with asbestos binding as it couldn’t be burnt, this ironically is something that  happened to all books in the novel. The gimmick may have been considered a nice touch at the time but anybody reading the book was seriously endangering their lives. Finding asbestos in mundane items such as a book is why asbestos awareness is absolutely crucial.


2. Toilet Seats

You might be surprised but even the trusty toilet seat has been found to contain asbestos. Early plastic composite toilet seats were made from a material known as bakelite which contained minimal asbestos fibres. The brittle fibres needed strengthening and asbestos helped with this. With such small quantities, the asbestos in these seats are considered generally safe and stable and are not a threat to anybody if you encounter one.


3. Crayons

In 2015, Disney and Nickelodeon branded kids crayons were found to contain traces of asbestos. This was big news due to the possible dangers that it placed children to the possible exposure of asbestos. The crayons were manufactured in China, a country that still mines asbestos. The crayons were ultimately recalled and disposed of professionally.


4. Artex Ceilings

Fans of 1970’s decor will remember the iconic swirls, spikes and patterns of Artex ceilings. Despite falling out of fashion in the 1980’s, builds as late as the 1990’s still used these ceilings. Artex is dangerous because it has a coating of Chrysotile, the white asbestos. Because of its popularity, these ceilings represent an incredible risk. For this reason, Artex is now removed from houses containing it. Some will try DIY approaches to remove the dangerous fibres but this is a huge risk to the individual and is not recommended. Steaming Artex ceilings removes it safely but it is recommended that you hire a qualified assessor to check it. The assessor will remove it themselves if they feel it is needed.


5. Ironing Boards

Because of asbestos’ fire resistant properties, it will come as no surprise that ironing board manufacturers used the fibres in production. Until the 1980’s, the place where you put the iron at the head of the board included asbestos. Although inert, pads could chip and break over time. Even Ironing board covers were sometimes lined with asbestos that could fray which in turn lead to fibres being released more easily.


6. Bowling Balls

During the 1960’s and 1970’s, many bowling balls contained asbestos. It was used as a filler for the ball to increase strength and impact resistance, decrease possible shrinkage and reduce overall costs. Because of this use, people involved in the manufacturing of bowling balls were at severe risk of exposure to asbestos fibres. Workers in shops selling the bowling balls were also at risk as it was their responsibility to drill the holes into the balls. Despite thorough cleaning after drilling, there is no guarantee that the fibres released would not find their way onto the fingers of the bowler.


7. Extreme Sports

Extreme sports are popular in the 21st century as more and more people seek new adrenalin fuelled adventures. As motocross and quad biking are two of the most accessible off-road sports, the possible exposure to asbestos particles is something that needs to be made aware of. The swirling dust created as the vehicles tear up fields and farmland can be extremely hazardous. The chance of inhaling dust containing asbestos is entirely possible. A lungful of asbestos fibres can cause significant long-term damage for riders and spectators so this danger should not be ignored.


8. Christmas Decorations

Christmas is a time for family, exchanging gifts and great food. For long periods, candles were a common fixture on the Christmas trees. Because of this fire resistant decorative snow was needed. White asbestos had a fluffy texture which is why it was used as fake snow. This popular product was deadly for consumers who did not know the risks of exposure to the fibres. Even early Christmas films used it under those hot stage lights. Whatever its use at Christmas was, the snow may have been fake but it contained a very real danger.


9. Toothpaste

Asbestos found its way into plenty of hygiene and medical solutions. There was a brief time when fibres were used as a surgical thread. The use of asbestos in toothpaste wasn’t something that was widespread but the popular Ipana brand included it in their product. Asbestos fibres are an abrasive, so it likely did help clean teeth more effectively. Was it worth it for ingesting fibres? It really wasn’t.


10. Vintage Items

Owning vintage items is a popular thing these days. Today, people enjoy exploring charity shops and second hand stores for the items of yesteryear. As Asbestos was considered a miracle product, its use spread in the production of many items. Along with the items on this list, asbestos was was used in hairdryers, heaters, irons and toasters between the 1950’s and 1970’s. All vintage items should be handled with care because of the danger to exposure. You must contact an expert if you think an item contains asbestos.

This list proves that we must remain extra vigilant when it comes to discovering asbestos. The dangers of inhaling fibres remain very real. Make sure you read our Asbestos FAQ’s for more information on this dangerous substance.

By taking an asbestos course online, we can all have the knowledge required when encountering asbestos. SSD Online Asbestos awareness courses approved by IATP, RoSPA and UKATA are available today. Contact us for more information.

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How to Protect Yourself from Asbestos

how to protect from asbestos

Before 2000 Asbestos was commonly used within buildings to help with insulation and fireproofing. Studies on its toxicity were undertaken  since 1899 but this did not stop companies from using it as resource for construction. Despite the threat becoming increasingly more known, it took a very long time for the use of asbestos to stop and  governments eventually getting involved. In 1999, the UK government put into law that asbestos should not be used in construction with regulations also put in place to train tradespeople on the dangers of asbestos.

All types of asbestos are known to cause serious health issues in humans whilst some are more dangerous than others. It can result in mesothelioma and asbestosis which has been linked to certain types of lung cancer. With many tradespeople working on buildings that were constructed before 2000, the chances of coming into contact with asbestos fibres is highly likely.

Because of the dangers and the change in law, a number of online asbestos awareness training courses are available. Companies, such as UKATA have been created with the sole goal of raising awareness and quality of asbestos courses. With UKATA Asbestos Awareness, more and more tradespeople are getting qualified training on the subject.  

As well as asbestos awareness and training, there are a number of safeguarding procedures tradespeople must know so that they can protect themselves from the dangers of asbestos. Here at SSD Online Asbestos, we have compiled our list of top tips on how to protect yourself from asbestos within the workplace.


1. Do not work around asbestos, if at all possible

The first tip is an act of common sense. There are severe health hazards attributed to coming into contact with asbestos. For this reason, the removal of asbestos should be undertaken by those who are qualified and trained to remove it, therefore removing the risk of those who have not completed any asbestos training to work in that location safely. If this is not possible, only those who have had the correct training and are qualified to be near it. Remember, there are types of insulation that also contains asbestos that may  cause unsuspecting danger to the untrained eyes if it is disturbed.


2. Plan the work effectively

Because of the dangers of asbestos, planning your work in an area where asbestos is present is imperative. As we have said above, if you  plan for the removal of asbestos or only have the trained professionals around the affected area, then this could save yourself from many hazards. If you have a health and safety advisor on site, the asbestos trained staff could consult with them every step of the way by creating a plan with their shared expertise.


3. Wear the right equipment

You will more than likely have a mask that is competent in protecting yourself from dust particles. Some might think that this would be enough to protect them from deadly asbestos particles but this is not the case. There are masks that have been specifically designed to protect the user from inhaling any harmful specks of asbestos. It is vital that you wear the right equipment for the job at hand.


4. Avoid using power tools

When power tools are used they create dust in the air and can disturb dormant asbestos Because of this, the risk of asbestos particles spreading in the air and people inhaling these particles increases. If using power tools is unavoidable, then keeping an area dampened with water will allow dust to settle much faster. You should also consider cleaning up as you work rather than leaving it all to the end of a task.


5. Avoid sweeping up any debris

A similar issue to power tools, sweeping any debris that has been in contact with asbestos can cause the particles to spread. This should be avoided. Using a Type H vacuum cleaner or even wet rags to clean up your area would be advantageous in this environment. Any waste should be double bagged and taken to a site that deals with asbestos waste.


6. Keep yourself safe and clean

Overalls worn whilst working in an asbestos affected area should never taken away from the site you are working on. They shouldn’t ever be reworn. Overalls should be removed and disposed of in a similar way to clearing waste – double bagged and taken to the appropriate disposal site. Make sure you shower thoroughly before leaving any site.

Asbestos is a dangerous substance but by following these safety tips, the threat of its danger can be significantly reduced. If you are a tradesperson looking to gain your asbestos training certificate or a company looking to get their staff accredited, please get in touch with us to find the right course for you.

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Which Asbestos Training Course Should You Take?

online asbestos training

If you’re a carpenter, construction worker, decorator, electrician, plumber or any other type of tradesperson, then there is a huge possibility that you will encounter asbestos in your line of work. Asbestos is found in many older buildings that used the material for fireproofing and insulation. Ultimately, asbestos is a  substance that can result in mesothelioma and asbestosis which has been linked to cancer. Asbestos was banned in 1999 as it was linked to many diseases. However it is present in buildings that were built before 2000.

The 2012 Control of Asbestos Regulations Act was introduced to make sure all employers comply with the legal requirement that all employees are provided with the correct information, instruction and asbestos training when working in a space where asbestos could be disturbed.

The quickest way to get your asbestos training is through online asbestos courses. There are plenty to choose from, all offering varied modules and prices which lead to a certificate. Safety Services Direct Online Asbestos has compiled a list of the top online asbestos awareness training courses you should look to for getting your asbestos certification.


1. UKATA Approved Asbestos Awareness Training Course (CAT A)

The UKATA Online Asbestos Awareness Course is the most popular online asbestos awareness course in the UK. UKATA is the UK Asbestos Training Association that has been auditing, regulating and managing the list of those providers that carry asbestos training courses since 2008. They formed because of the need to improve the standard of asbestos training that was being provided to employers. With this goal in mind, you can trust a course approved by UKATA.

The UKATA Approved Asbestos Awareness Training Course (CAT A), provided by Ferncroft Environmental, is an online course that takes just two hours to complete but with that you will have a UKATA generated certificate that covers you for twelve months. Modules include; Asbestos types, its dangers and health effects as well as employee duties, regulations and procedures in case of emergency before finishing with the properties of asbestos, materials and PPE (personal protective equipment).

With a competitive price – includes a discount for employers who want to bulk buy training – 24-hour access and a support team via email, this UKATA Online Asbestos online test is one of the best around.

Price: £18.75 (individual) £17.50 (10 to 49 people) £15 (50 to 250) £12 (251 to 2500)


2. RoSPA Approved Asbestos Awareness Training Course

The RoSPA Approved Asbestos Awareness Training Course is an affordable option for online awareness training. RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) is a charity that aims to save lives and prevent life-changing injuries from happening due to accidents the workplace. With a vested interest in the health of safety of workplaces, RoSPA understand the need for quality asbestos training.

This RoSPA training course is perfect for individuals who need training as soon as possible. With the law demanding such training for tradespeople, the thought of being able to achieve certification in a short space of time makes this course one to consider, especially if you’re just starting a new tradesjob. The course contains two key modules – Managing Asbestos & Asbestos Materials – as well the usual introduction to asbestos and its dangers and a final test.

This RoSPA asbestos awareness training course has an affordable price of £15 (per individual) is fully audited and approved by RoSPA with a completion time of two hours offers full 24-hour access, email support and an instantly generated certificate.

Prices: £15 (individual) £13 each (10 to 49 people) £10 each (50+)


3. IATP Approved Asbestos Awareness Training Course (CAT A)

The IATP Asbestos training course is the perfect training course for those tradespeople that need to cover all the essential information in a very short space of time. Offering a course that can be completed within an hour, the program is audited and approved by the Independent Asbestos Training Provider. The company also supports the HSE’s (Health and Safety Executive) Asbestos Hidden Killer campaign that is raising awareness of the dangers of asbestos among tradespeople.

Offering the same modules and testing as the RoSPA course, the IATP asbestos course will get you through the course a lot faster. Once more, a generated certificate is instantly created. It’s easy to use and convenient which is a perfect solution for an independent tradesperson, employees and employers.

The IATP training offers a competitive price, an instant certificate with 24-hour access and email support.

Prices: £17.50 (individual) £15 (10 to 49) £12 (50 to 5000)


Whichever course you decide to take, they all offer the awareness you need for understanding the dangers of asbestos which are expected of any trade professional. If your current licence has expired, then these are perfect refresher courses to get your accreditation back. Conclusively, the choice will come down to preference of the course and what it offers, the provider, the price and the time you have to complete the course.

Whichever you choose, SSD Online Asbestos offer each of these at competitive prices. Get in touch with us to help you find the right course for you.


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Everything You Need to Know About RoSPA

everything you need to know about rospa

Who are RoSPA?

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) are a charity that aims to save lives by preventing accidents that can cause life-changing injuries within the workplace and everyday life. Their mission is to have life-enhancing skills to be exchanged to reduce those serious accidental injuries allowing everybody to enjoy life to the fullest. To get as much knowledge as possible, RoSPA collaborate with a large number of experts ranging from people affected by accidents and their families as well as corporations from around the world.

RoSPA’s knowledge plays an important part in the majority of our online courses, including the RoSPA Asbestos Awareness Course, allowing that shared wisdom to get to you, knowing that it has come from a respected pool of experts.

Why did RoSPA form?

RoSPA were founded in 1916 in a response to the increase in road accidents during the First World War. This was caused by the restricted street lighting that was needed during nights in conditions of war. The “Safety First” council was established 1st December 1916 to tackle these accidents and find ways of preventing such accidents.

One successful campaign introduced a rule to make pedestrians face oncoming traffic as they crossed the road. It was hugely successful as it decreased the amount of people stepping into the path of vehicles by 70%.

On the back of such successes, in 1918, the British Industrial “Safety First” Association (BISFA) was formed to tackle workplace safety on a national scale. It got its “Royal” approval when HRH The Duke of York became president in 1920 before remaining on as a patron when his presidency ended.

What influence has RoSPA had on society?

Their campaigning has led to the introductions of assessments and laws that we consider everyday things. These include:

Green Cross Code

Including the famous adverts with British Actor David Prowse, best known as Darth Vader in Star Wars, as a costumed superhero teaching children to cross the road.

Drink Drive Legislation

Enacted in 1967, RoSPA campaigned for a limit of 80 milligrammes drink drive limit.

The Institution of Industrial Safety Officers

A professional body for health and safety in the workplace.

Quality Safety Audit

This was introduced for all employers which has undergone various changes to keep it relevant year on year.

Driver Profiler

A RoSPA online risk assessment tool that allows employers to measure their employees driving ability without leaving the workplace.

RoSPA & Health and Safety

RoSPA are leaders in workplace health and safety thinking. They promote numerous key issues in securing significant and lasting change. These key issues are:

  • Assistance to Small Firms
  • Occupational Health
  • Director Leadership
  • Team Leadership
  • Involvement of workers
  • Occupational Road Risk Management
  • Learning from Safety Failure
  • Going Public on Performance
  • 24/7 Safety

With such focus and dedication on these key issues, improvements will be made over time as more and more intelligence is gathered from workplaces in their mission to keep workplaces as safe as possible.

We make sure our RoSPA training courses are fully approved based on the information they have gathered from the shared knowledge of workplaces. Whether that is in Working at Heights training or learning of the RoSPA Asbestos awareness there are a number of RoSPA approved courses available. For more information on our RoSPA approved courses, do get in touch.

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Everything You Need To Know About UKATA

everything you need to know about ukata

What is the UKATA?

The UKATA are the UK Asbestos Training Association. Since 2008, the UKATA have been regulating, auditing and managing the list of asbestos training providers throughout the UK.

The UKATA formed after they realised that the standard of training provided by the list of Asbestos Training Providers under the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) needed improving.

The UKATA held their first meeting and inaugural speech on September 2007, and in 2008 the HSE passed the responsibility of maintaining the quality of asbestos training by licensed asbestos providers and workplaces dealing with asbestos over to The UKATA.

What is the aim of the UKATA?

The (UKATA) have four clear aims when it comes to asbestos training providers. These are:

  • “To maintain the prominent acclaim established within the asbestos industry and wider community.
  • As the asbestos industry’s most eminent training association, continue to uphold its internationally recognised high standards of training and welcome new members who meet these exacting standards.
  • Continue to build the UKATA trademark for the supreme benefit of all its members by continuing to work within the guidelines of current legislation as an absolute minimum.
  • Continue to forge effective links with our trade partners and  industry stakeholders.”

What types of training do UKATA support?

It is a legal requirement to provide asbestos training to every worker or business person who might come across asbestos during their day-to-day working life. If employees are intentionally working with asbestos (builders, contractors, plumbers and so on), then they must have adequate training in order to minimise risk of asbestos exposure during the specific tasks they’re undertaking.

Asbestos Awareness Training

If you are working on building that was built or refurbished before 2000 and you have no intention of removing any asbestos that might be present, then you will need asbestos awareness training so you can avoid the risks, and reduce your chances of disturbing the asbestos – if certain types of asbestos are inhaled, they can cause severe health problems later on in the future. You should provide Asbestos Awareness Training to employees whose work will foreseeably disturb the structure of a building and expose them to asbestos.

Non Licensable Work with Asbestos

Non Licensable Work with Asbestos training is designed for those who know that they will work with low-risk types of asbestos during their day-to-day working life, and have an increased chance of disturbing it. This includes maintenance workers and their supervisors, and those who carry out asbestos sampling and analysis.

Licensable Work with Asbestos

Licensable Work with Asbestos Training is a requirement for companies with a HSE License who carry out work with asbestos or remove high risk asbestos. Alongside Asbestos Awareness, people who are carrying out ‘licensable work’ require additional task-specific information, instruction and training.

Asbestos in Soils Awareness

Asbestos in Soils Awareness training should be given to employees who work on projects to redevelop brownfield sites and sites that were once occupied by industrial buildings that were demolished. This is because there is a strong chance that the work being undertaken on these sites will disturb the soils and expose them to the high-risk asbestos and other materials that were once dormant in the ground. UKATA also provide Asbestos in Soils training for Supervisors, Managers, and CDM Duty Holders. This type of training helps them understand their legal obligations, and highlight the dangers of asbestos and they way it can affect a person’s physical and mental health.

Duty to Manage

Managers of non-domestic premises have a duty of care and a responsibility to protect people who work in such premises, or use them in other ways, from the risks related to exposure from asbestos. The Duty to Manage – Appointed Person is tailored for one person who is responsible for buildings containing asbestos.

RPE Competent Person

The Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) Competent Person course designed for those who are responsible for the selection, use, maintenance and the record keeping for employees RPE. This includes employers, supervisors, health and safety representatives and elected company representatives.

Why Choose a UKATA Training Provider?

Online Asbestos offer UKATA Asbestos Awareness Training Courses. Here are some of the reasons why you should choose UKATA online asbestos training with Online Asbestos

  • Presentation materials, exam papers, course handouts and trainers are assessed against our core syllabus by a UKATA competent independent Verifier.
  • Tutors have regular Tutor Knowledge tests by the UKATA Online Tutor Registration “OTR” system.
  • Course Management and Tutor presentation Skills are audited
  • All UKATA Training Providers produce training certificates via the UKATA Certificate Generator, providing a unique certificate number.

Get in touch with Online Asbestos today.

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A Brief History of Asbestos Claims in the UK

For almost a century, the dangers surrounding asbestos and the health issues it caused went largely unnoticed in the UK. However, after the health-risks associated with asbestos became common knowledge, the government put a number of legislation’s and regulations in place so that they could control the use of asbestos in the UK. This once popular natural micro-fibre was banned completely in 1999. But why did it take so long to become banned from within the UK?

Why was asbestos banned in the UK?

The government passed legislative measures in the UK to ban the complete use of asbestos  in 1999 due to the increasing number of mesothelioma cases that were being diagnosed. Over 4,000 people lose their life due to asbestos-related diseases every year.

1906 – The first asbestos related death is recorded

In 1906 Dr H Montague Murray undertook a post mortem on an anonymous person who had worked in the Asbestos industry for 14 years. Dr Montague Murray noticed that the worker’s lungs were stiff and black with Fibrosis. He noted that the Fibrosis was caused by shard shaped asbestos dust that he’d inhaled over the years. Before the unnamed worker died, he disclosed to Murray that he was the last survivor of 10 others in his work room. Dr Murray prepared his report for the Departmental Committee for Industrial Disease, and it was given as evidence to the Home Office Departmental Committee on compensation for Industrial Diseases.

1907 – The Compensation Act is updated

A year after Doctor Murray’s report,  the Compensation Act that was first introduced in 1897 was updated to include six Industrial Diseases to the Workmen’s Compensation Act. None of these diseases were asbestos related.

1924 – The first medical case of an Asbestos related death is published

In 1925, English textile worker Nellie Kershaw, becomes the first published medical case of an asbestos related death due to Pulmonary Asbestosis.

1927 – The term ‘Asbestosis’ is introduced

During this time, a report published in the British Medical Journal introduces the word ‘Asbestosis’, which describes Lung Fibrosis linked to asbestos.

1930 – The ‘Report on the Effects of Asbestos Dust on the Lungs and the Suppression in the Asbestos Industry’ is published.

Three years after ‘Asbestosis’ is coined, the government commissioned a report entitled ‘Report on the Effects of Asbestos Dust on the Lungs and the Suppression in the Asbestos Industry’. This in depth study looked at the risk of Fibrosis in correlation with exposure to asbestos. The study found that high levels of Asbestosis in Asbestos factory workers were becoming more prevalent and legislation was suggested.

1931 – 1932 – The first recognised piece of asbestos legislation was passed

The first recognised form of asbestos legislation is introduced in 1932, after The Asbestos Industry receives Royal Assent in 1931. The legislation passed was dedicated control asbestos with specific concentration in factories.

1933 – Reports of known deaths linked to Silicosis and Asbestosis are recorded

Reports for the annual report of the Chief Inspecting Officer of Factories in 1932 are updated with number of known deaths linked to Asbestosis and Silicosis.

1948 – The Building Regulations 1948 are introduced

Years after the updated reports, Building (Safety, Health and Welfare) Regulations 1948 are introduced on the 1st October 1948. Regulation 82 focuses on the use of asbestos materials within the building industry. This year the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Act 1946  replaces the Workmen’s Compensation Scheme with the Industrial Injuries Scheme.

1955 – A report linking asbestos to lung cancer is published

The British Medical Journal publishes a report demonstrating a link between asbestos and lung cancers. The report is called ‘Mortality from Lung Cancer in Asbestos Workers’. The report highlights the increasing link between Lung Cancers and asbestos exposure, following on from a number of annual reports from the Chief Inspecting Officer of Factories.

1960 – The first clear association of Crocidolite asbestos and Mesothelioma is reported

A report titled ‘Diffuse Pleural Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure in a North Western Cape Province’ is published in the British Journal of Medicine. The South African research demonstrates a clear association between exposure of Crocidolite asbestos and Mesothelioma.

1961 – The Ship Building and Ship Repairing Regulations are introduced.

The Ship Building and Ship Repairing Regulations are introduced on the 31st March 1961. This is alongside the Factories Act 1937 which governs the use of asbestos materials in the shipbuilding industry.

1967 –  A Voluntary industry ban on the import of blue asbestos happens

1968 – 1969 – Asbestos Regulations 1969 are introduced

The British Occupational Hygiene Society proposes a safety standard for Chrysotile asbestos of 0.2 fibres/ml. Later research predicts that 1 in 10 workers could contract Asbestos related disease at this level.

1974 – The Health and Safety at Work Act wants more from workers.

In 1974 the Health and Safety at Work Act gives more reaching duties for the employer.

1983 – The Asbestos Regulations are implemented

The Asbestos (Licensing) Regulations are implemented and cover hazardous jobs such as Asbestos removal.

1985 – 1987 – Two types of asbestos are banned and The Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations is introduced.

In 1985 the import of brown and blue asbestos is banned in the UK, and The Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 1987 is introduced. This means that harsher dust limits and controls in relation to the use of Asbestos at work.

1999 – The use of asbestos is banned in the UK

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6 Common Asbestos FAQs

common asbestos faqs

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a natural microfibre most commonly found in the following three rock types: serpentinites, altered ultramafic rocks, and some mafic rocks. Asbestos is an extremely durable material that is  resistant to fires and chemical reactions or breakdowns. Because of these properties, this is why asbestos has been used in many industrial, commercial and consumer projects and products.

The first recorded use of asbestos dates back to 2500 B.C, and was first used by humans in the Neolithic age as a temper for ceramics. Historians uncovered prehistoric shards and ware containing asbestos in Finland, central Russia, Norway and Sweden. You can find out more about what asbestos is and where you can find it here.

How many types of Asbestos are there?

There are many types of asbestos – the most common are:


Chrysotile is a white asbestos that was the most commonly used form of asbestos. It is mainly found in the roofs, ceilings, walls and floors of homes and businesses. Chrysotile was also used by manufacturers in automobile brake linings, gaskets, and insulation for pipes, ducts and appliances.


Amosite is a brown asbestos that was used most frequently in cement sheets and pipe insulation. It is also found in insulating board, ceiling tiles and thermal insulation products.


Crocidolite is a blue asbestos that was commonly used to insulate steam engines. It was also used for some spray-on coatings, pipe insulation, plastics and cement products.


Anthophyllite is a grey – greenish asbestos that is used in limited quantities for insulation products and construction materials. It is also used as a contaminant in Chrysotile asbestos, vermiculite and talcum powder.

Tremolite and Actinolite

Tremolite and Actinolite asbestos is a brownish grey asbestos that isn’t used commercially, but can be found as contaminants in Chrysotile asbestos, vermiculite and talcum powder.

Why is Asbestos dangerous?

Certain types of asbestos are dangerous because they are made up of microscopic fibres that can be easily broken, and the particles easily become airborne and inhaled. Due to its broken-up needle like shapes, asbestos particles stick to the tissues of the lungs, and other areas in the respiratory system.

These tiny fibres clinging to the respiratory system cause inflammation, which consequently causes a number of health problems. Three of the most common are:


Asbestosis is a degenerative respiratory condition caused by scar tissue plaques on the lining of the lungs  (pleura). Asbestosis is usually a precursor to mesothelioma.


Mesotheliomais an aggressive form of cancer in the thin membrane that protects the critical organs in the abdomen and chest. Exposure to asbestos is the only direct verified link to this form of cancer.

Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer has many triggers, and is most commonly associated with smoking and radon. Asbestos has been linked to causing and exacerbating lung cancer.

What type of Asbestos is dangerous?

Amphibole Asbestos – Crocidolite and Amosite

Amphibole asbestos materialises in naturally-formed bundles that are long, sharp, and straight. Amphibole asbestos includes Crocidolite and Amosite, and they are much more brittle than other types of asbestos as it breaks easily. When Amphibole asbestos is broken, it releases dangerous needle-like fibers into the air that are easily inhaled, and can cause a number of health problems such as cancer.

Serpentine Asbestos – Chrysotile

Serpentine asbestos historically accounts for more than 95% of all asbestos used around the world. Serpentine asbestos is not as hazardous as Amphibole asbestos. If left undisturbed and stabilised, Serpentine asbestos such as Chrysotile poses no hazard to humans.

When was Asbestos banned?

One month after the European Union (EU) banned the use of asbestos, the UK wholly banned the use of asbestos in 1999. It took nearly a century for asbestos to get banned in the UK, and because of this, 50% of buildings constructed in the UK before 1999 are suspected to contain a form of asbestos. The Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 1987 extended the duty to manage asbestos for domestic premises in 2002. Find out about the benefits of asbestos awareness training here.

Who is at risk of asbestos exposure?

In 2013, 2,538 UK residents died from mesothelioma, and the UK’s mesothelioma rates increase to 12.7 per million for women and 68.2 million per million for men (Asbestos). Those who worked in the UK shipbuilding industry prior to the 1980s and those who served aboard a ship containing asbestos are at high risk for asbestos exposure and mesothelioma.

UK Construction workers are also another high-risk group, simply because asbestos was prevalent in the UK for over a century, and is prevalent in many of the country’s older buildings and residences. This is why many businesses offer Asbestos Awareness Training courses.

Other occupations at a high risk for asbestos exposure are:

  • Carpenters
  • Plasterers
  • Roofing contractors
  • HVAC engineers
  • Demolition crews
  • Maintenance workers
  • Teachers
  • Joiners>
  • Plumbers
  • Boilermakers
  • Electricians

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