Health and Safety
What is The 3 Types of Asbestos Training
Employers should think carefully about the precise type of asbestos training their workforce needs.
“Asbestos is a fibre-like material that was once used in buildings for insulation, flooring and roofing. Its use has been fully banned in the UK since 1999.”
– says the NHS. Materials including asbestos (ACMs) have been used for over 50 years. The introduction of asbestos directly caused approximately 4000 annual deaths from diseases associated with asbestos exposure. In addition, the government implemented a rule requiring asbestos awareness training for anyone working near or on asbestos to lower the number of fatalities in 2006.
Do you know which level of Asbestos training is the best fit for you?
This blog about What are the 3 Types of Asbestos Training? will teach you what each sort of asbestos training covers and which one is most suited for specific work functions.
Table of Content
- What is Asbestos?
- What are the different types of Asbestos?
- How to Determine What Type of Asbestos Training Staff Require?
- Asbestos Awareness Training (Category A)
- Is all Asbestos dangerous?
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring silicate material composed of thin, tiny threads. It is resistant to heat and chemicals and is fireproof and robust. As a result, asbestos became a common ingredient in many products. Individuals exposed to asbestos incur health concerns such as cancer and other disorders.
Some varieties of asbestos are distinguished by their colours, such as brown and chrysotile white asbestos (Amosite). Despite this, there are numerous other colours of asbestos, such as grey, green, and yellow; thus, it is impossible to tell which form of asbestos is present simply by looking at it.
What are the different types of Asbestos?
Asbestos is a set of six fibrous minerals found in metamorphic deposits worldwide. Tremolite asbestos, Actinolite asbestos, Anthophyllite asbestos, Chrysotile asbestos, Amosite asbestos, and Crocidolite asbestos are the six forms of hydrous magnesium silicate asbestos.
- Tremolite asbestos– Tremolite asbestos was not extensively employed in industrial or commercial applications, yet it might be discovered (rarely) in items such as some talcum powders in trace levels.
- Actinolite asbestos– Actinolite asbestos has a darker appearance than other forms. It has long, pointed fibres that are easily inhaled. It is slightly less common than other forms of asbestos and less common in consumer products.
- Anthophyllite asbestos– The colour is yellowish-brown, mainly made up of magnesium and iron. Like others, this form of amphibole asbestos has long, needle-like fibres which can be easily inhaled. Anthophyllite asbestos was rarely seen in consumer items and has been discovered in cement and insulation.
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- Chrysotile asbestos-Chrysotile asbestos, often known as white asbestos, differs from the other five asbestos kinds in that it has serpentine fibres (curled fibres) rather than amphibole fibres (straight, needle-like fibres). Chrysotile asbestos is less friable than other forms of asbestos, making it less likely to be breathed. Because chrysotile asbestos is less likely to be inhaled, many people consider it the safest variety of asbestos.
- Amosite asbestos-Amosite asbestos, also known as Grunerite or brown asbestos, is an amphibole that originated in Africa. Amosite was utilised in industry for various applications, including cement sheeting and pipe insulation.
- Crocidolite asbestos-Crocidolite asbestos, often known as blue asbestos, is an amphibole mineral found in Africa and Australia. Crocidolite asbestos is considered the most harmful asbestos.
How to Determine What Type of Asbestos Training Staff Require?
All asbestos training will educate personnel about the dangers of asbestos, the necessary safety precautions, and how to perform their work tasks appropriately. The levels of information in each of these categories vary, though: Category A is more geared toward educating personnel about dangers. At the same time, Category C is made for high-risk work that licensed contractors must do.
The type of asbestos training employees should undergo is determined by their task. Because it is the employer’s responsibility to organise training, it is their responsibility to analyse the hazards that the workers would be exposed to, including those caused by asbestos, and then schedule suitable training accordingly.
Training is often divided into three categories to assist you in determining which is best for you:
- Asbestos Awareness Education (Category A).
- Asbestos Training Without a Licence (Category B).
- Licensed Asbestos Removal (Category C).
What are the 3 Different Types of Asbestos Training?
Working with asbestos-containing materials may produce health concerns that are not detectable for years. Therefore, it is crucial to confirm that all workers have received training before engaging in tasks that increase the risk of asbestos fibres being released into the air. While all three types of training offer basic asbestos information, particular occupations will demand additional experience and preparation.
Asbestos Awareness Training (Category A)
Asbestos awareness training aims to educate employees who may come into contact with asbestos about the risks of exposure and how to prevent disturbing asbestos-containing objects. Employees who do not directly handle asbestos-containing materials should attend asbestos awareness training.
Some examples of the people taking this training are: Painters, Decorators, Plumbers, Roofers, Electricians, Plasterers, Building and demolition personnel, Engineers in heating and ventilation, Carpenters, and Joiners and Gas fitters.
Other topics that this training should address include:
- Asbestos information, qualities, and attributes. For example, the training answers questions like “when does an asbestos-containing substance become dangerous?” and “what is the most widely utilised kind of asbestos?”
- Asbestos-related disorders, such as lung scarring and inflammation
- Asbestos types that could be utilised in buildings
- Control measures to limit exposure risk
- Procedures that should be followed in the event of an emergency.
Non-Licensed Asbestos Training (Category B)
Workers who have been identified under the asbestos awareness section above and whose work will require them to disturb asbestos-containing materials, such as:
- drilling asbestos-containing materials (including for sampling and analysis purposes)
- placing wires near intact asbestos-containing materials
- removing floor tiles containing asbestos
- asbestos cement sheet roofing or cladding cleaning or repair
Information, education, and training for Notifiable Non-Licensed Work (NNLW), which includes non-licensable asbestos work, should cover the following subjects:
- How to conduct adequate and sufficient assessments of the risk of asbestos exposure,
- Safe work practises and controls measures, including an explanation of how to apply controls properly, how to choose protective gear and work methods,
- and how to handle waste safely
- urgent situations
- relevant legal standards
- Conditions under which non-licensed work may be reported (i.e. NNLW)
Licensed Asbestos Work (Category C)
This is the highest degree of instruction a licensed contractor can get to prepare for high-risk work with asbestos-containing products. To do tasks that require a licence without a valid claim is illegal. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) also states that high-risk work must meet one of the following requirements:
- Asbestos exposure is widespread and intense.
- The control limit could be surpassed.
- It entails extensive work on insulation, asbestos coating, or insulating board.
The removal of sprayed coatings, loose-fill insulation, asbestos millboard work, etc., are examples of work that requires a licence.
The same content as category B is covered in more detail in this training. It also offers guidance on on-site inspections, secure removal methods, disinfection, and other matters. Additionally, a practical test of an employee’s understanding must always come after a theoretical training session.
Is all Asbestos dangerous?
Asbestos is dangerous because it can disintegrate into fragile fibres. These fibres are so tiny that even days after being disturbed, they can still be seen in the air. People can breathe these fibres while they are in the air.
The fibres can penetrate a person’s lungs and possibly become lodged in the tissue there. There is no accepted safe level of asbestos. Asbestos-containing products are those that contain more than 1% of the mineral asbestos.
You are more prone to develop an asbestos sickness the more asbestos to which you are exposed. Both asbestosis and lung cancer are dose-related diseases. Fibres are discharged into the air when asbestos-containing materials are disturbed or destroyed.
When these fibres are ingested, they can cause significant health problems. When these diseases are discovered, it is frequently too late to take action because they can take a long time to develop.
All asbestos-related diseases have a latency period. The latency period is the time frame between asbestos exposure and the onset of sickness symptoms. The latency period for diseases linked to asbestos can last anywhere between 10 and 40 years.
You won’t experience any sickness throughout the latency period. If you get an asbestos disease, you will start to feel sick after the latency period is over.
According to the HSE, there are around 5,000 asbestos-related fatalities annually in the UK. However, in light of the preceding, it is evident that individuals who may be exposed to asbestos at work want training to comprehend the dangers of asbestos and how to avoid being harmed by it. Therefore, businesses must legally decide what kind of asbestos training is best for their workforce.