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HSE introduction to asbestos learning package

The HSE have a useful interactive lesson on their website aimed mainly at apprentices between the ages of 16 – 19 (though it’s worth a look even if you don’t fit into that bracket).

One of the main purposes behind the package is to overcome ignorance among tradespeople of the continuing dangers presented by asbestos. According to the HSE, a significant number of people believe that asbestos is no longer a problem so the initiative aims to raise awareness of the risks involved in working with asbestos.

It’s particularly problematic for younger people because the effects of asbestos are cumulative – meaning that they add up over time. If you are regularly exposed to asbestos from a young age then you are more at risk of developing an asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma in later life.

The package is available from this webpage – It’s free and includes:

  • A lesson plan for lecturers
  • A PowerPoint presentation
  • Task sheets
  • Posters


Example exercise

The diagram below is an extract from the Hunt for Asbestos worksheet. Participants are invited to identify places where asbestos might be hidden. They can match common asbestos containing materials and places where asbestos is often found with the blank circles on the diagram.


Places include:

  1. Asbestos cements products
  2. Textured coatings
  3. Floor tiles
  4. Sprayed coatings on ceilings and walls
  5. Asbestos insulating board
  6. Lagging
  7. Loose asbestos in ceiling or floor cavity
  8. Board around windows, radiators and fireplaces
  9. Fuse boxes and electrical switchgear
  10. Textiles
  11. Ceiling tiles
  12. Soffit boards