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HSE guidelines for Ongoing Asbestos Awareness Training

If you are likely to come into contact with asbestos in your line of work, you have a legal obligation to undergo asbestos awareness training. Certification usually lasts for a period of 12 months, after which time HSE recommend that refresher courses are taken, although this is not a legal requirement.

The HSE website states:

“… some form of refresher should be given, as necessary, to help ensure knowledge of asbestos awareness is maintained. Refresher awareness could be given as e-learning or as part of other health and safety updates, rather than through a formal training course.”

E-learning (online training)

E-learning asbestos awareness courses are a straightforward and effective way to consolidate and update your knowledge, with email and telephone support generally being available from training providers. Easy to fit into a busy working day, online courses offer flexibility and a stress-free way to learn.

The UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) recommends an e-learning refresher course 12 months after the full Asbestos Awareness course, followed by face-to-face learning in the third year.

Informal training

Informal training may be delivered by a competent supervisor, manager or employer who has themselves undergone HSE Asbestos Awareness training. It could be provided in-house, for example:

  • As part of a general health and safety discussion with all members of staff
  • As an update dedicated to the dangers of working with asbestos

If an individual worker’s job description has changed, and they are now more likely to come into contact with asbestos, this type of training would be particularly beneficial.

Refresher training should not simply repeat what has already been learned. It should make people aware of any updated guidance from the Health and Safety Executive, cover changes in the work undertaken, and be appropriate for each person’s level of risk.

Further information

You can find out more about asbestos refresher training here.