Asbestos Awareness Training

By Aoife Read - Last update

Get Daily news and updates directly to your Email

What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is the common name for a group of naturally occurring mineral fibres that are both heat and chemically resistant.  Because of these properties, asbestos was commonly used insulation and fireproofing material. It was also often utilised as a component in other building materials. There are three main types of asbestos found in Ireland – chrysotile (white asbestos), amosite (brown asbestos) and crocidolite (blue asbestos).

Why Is Asbestos Dangerous?

The danger of asbestos is associated with exposure to asbestos fibres. The danger directly correlated with the possibility of the fibres within asbestos-containing material becoming released into the air and are then inhaled into the lungs. It has been proven that breathing in air that contains asbestos fibres can very often lead to asbestos-related diseases. These are most cancers of the chest and lungs. These diseases generally do not present themselves immediately and most of them can take from 15 – 60 years to develop. It is important to remember that as long as asbestos is in good condition and there is no disturbance or damage to the asbestos-containing material, the asbestos does not pose a risk to health as the fibres will not be released.

Is Asbestos Banned In Ireland?

In Ireland today it is prohibited to use, re-use, sell or supply asbestos or asbestos-containing materials or products. It is, however, quite common to find products or materials that contain asbestos, which was already installed or in service prior to the prohibition, that remain in place. These must be disposed of immediately upon discovery. Because of this fact, the danger of exposure to asbestos in many different workplaces is still a potential threat. This is largely due to the large quantities of asbestos and ACM’s which were used in buildings in the past.


Where Is Asbestos Most Commonly Found Today?

Asbestos is most frequently found in industrial, commercial, public or residential buildings that were built or refurbished before the year 2000.  Asbestos was frequently utilised by a wide variety of construction materials and was used for several purposes. This includes flooring, walls, ceiling, roofs, heating systems and equipment.  If you are looking to determine whether or not your building has asbestos, a detailed survey will be required to identify if asbestos is present. An asbestos survey must be carried out by a competent person.

What Training Is Needed For Asbestos Awareness?

Asbestos awareness training should be given to any employee who, during the course of their work, could potentially or unknowingly disturb asbestos containing materials. Training must be given as this could cause asbestos fibres to be released into the air. This training should also be given to anyone who is involved in building management, refurbishment or design. People who might need this training include Plumbers, Electricians, Facilities Managers, Designers, Architects, engineers, PSDP. Always keep in mind that Awareness training does not enable you to work with asbestos-containing materials, it simply enables you to identify the risk factors.

Government Issued Guidance Document

The Health and Safety Authority has published a comprehensive guidance document on asbestos training which includes the following:

  • Information on types of asbestos and asbestos containing materials (ACMs) in buildings.
  • Health effects of asbestos and associated risks to different types of workers.
  • Risk assessment of ACMs and use of various risk assessment algorithms.
  • Various legislation applicable to asbestos in Ireland.
  • Managing ACMs in workplaces and developing an Asbestos Management Plan (AMP)
  • Protocol for Management Asbestos Surveys (MAS) and a Pre-refurbishment/demolition survey (RDAS).
  • Bulk sampling and analysis.
  • Training, instruction and information requirements.
  • Personal Protective Equipment for working with asbestos and ACM.
  • Protocols for lower-risk work with asbestos and ACMs
  • Protocols for higher risk work with asbestos and ACM.
  • Contents of Plans of Work (method statements) for lower and higher risk asbestos work.
  • Role of the Independent Analyst, Four stage Clearance procedure and Certificates of Reoccupation.
  • Health surveillance and exposure registers.
  • Notification requirements.
  • Advice for management and disposal of asbestos and ACMs.

Completion of an Asbestos Awareness Course will help a company to protect its employees from the potential hazards and dangers of Asbestos Containing Material. It will also enable employers to fulfil any legal obligations they might have to their employees. These legal obligations are there to provide their employees, likely to come into contact with asbestos-containing materials, with the appropriate information, instruction and training to keep them safe.


Aoife Read

Graphic Design Training Courses
Human Resources Management Training


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We'd love to send you the latest news and articles about evening classes, further learning and adult education by email. We'll always treat your personal details with the utmost care and will never sell them to other companies for marketing purposes.

Comments and Reviews Policy