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Conviction of ex-Pirelli managers for exposing workers to asbestos

Seven former managers of Pirelli have been convicted of manslaughter following their trial in Milan. They were charged with exposing 20 workers to asbestos at the tyre factory between 1979 and 1989, with the longest prison sentence handed down being seven years and eight months.

The managers were also ordered to pay compensation to the victims’ families, plus an amount of further damages yet to be decided.

Although it has been stated that asbestos is not used in the manufacture of tyres, it could be present in various locations throughout the factory where they are produced. Asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) were commonly used during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, with the substance only being banned in Italy in 1992.

The UK was even slower in effecting a ban

Asbestos was only banned in this country in 1999, meaning the presence of asbestos in UK factories could also be widespread. Insulation used for pipe work, roofing materials, insulating boards and floor tiles could all potentially contain asbestos.

Although regarded as a historical problem, many cases are only now coming to light because it can take several decades for the after-effects of exposure to manifest themselves. Both the construction and shipbuilding industries have suffered heavy casualties from asbestos-related disease, including Mesothelioma and asbestosis.

How asbestos awareness training saves lives

Current levels of awareness regarding the dangers of asbestos are increasing. It is now a legal requirement for employers to provide this type of instruction to anyone who might come into contact with asbestos during their normal working day.

Online training courses make it easy to learn, offering flexibility and the ability to work at your own pace. An HSE asbestos certificate proves that you have undertaken this specific type of training, which can also be used to demonstrate your commitment to health and safety at work.

UKATA online training

The UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) monitors the standards of training from providers in the UK. All training providers are required to undergo stringent checks on course content to ensure that all information is up-to-date.

Using current best practices and following the latest legislation is vital to stay protected from the ongoing threat of asbestos exposure. With so many commercial, residential and school buildings having been constructed at a time when the use of asbestos was widespread, the likelihood of workers encountering the substance is high.

What will you learn from an asbestos awareness course?

  • The likely locations of asbestos within various types of building
  • The different types of asbestos and what they look like
  • The health implications for anyone exposed to the substance
  • How to proceed safely should it be uncovered

These are just a few of the topics you will learn about on a UKATA online asbestos training course. On average, it takes around 90 minutes to complete the training – an hour and a half that will help you stay safe at work.