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Asbestos Awareness (Category A) Online Course


This Asbestos Awareness (Category A) course is designed to help workers understand and avoid the serious health risks associated with asbestos and asbestos-containing materials (ACMs).


This Asbestos Awareness (Category A) course is designed to help workers understand and avoid the serious health risks associated with asbestos and asbestos-containing materials (ACMs).

Although the course makes reference to UK regulations, the information provided would be useful to anyone aiming to improve their knowledge of asbestos and its associated risks.

In the UK, asbestos still kills around 5000 workers each year, this is more than the number of people killed on the road.
Around 20 tradesman die each week as a result of past exposure.
However, asbestos is not just a problem of the past. It can be present today in any building built or refurbished before the year 2000.
When materials that contain asbestos are disturbed or damaged, fibres are released into the air. When these fibres are inhaled they can cause serious diseases. These diseases will not affect you immediately; they often take a long time to develop, but once diagnosed, it is often too late to do anything. This is why it is important that you protect yourself now.

From the UK HSE:
Information, instruction and training for asbestos awareness is intended to give workers and supervisors the information they need to avoid work that may disturb asbestos during any normal work which could disturb the fabric of a building, or other item which might contain asbestos. It will not prepare workers, or self-employed contractors, to carry out work with asbestos-containing materials. If a worker is planning to carry out work that will disturb ACMs, further information, instruction and training will be needed.

Examples of those affected are listed below. There will be other occupations where asbestos may be disturbed in addition to those listed.:

  • General maintenance workers
  • Electricians
  • Plumbers
  • Joiners
  • Painters and decorators
  • Plasterers
  • Construction workers
  • Roofers
  • Shop fitters
  • Gas fitters
  • Heating and ventilation engineers
  • Demolition workers
  • Telecommunication engineers
  • Fire/burglar alarm installers
  • Computer and data installers
  • Architects
  • Building surveyors

Information, instruction and training about asbestos awareness should cover the following:

  • the properties of asbestos and its effects on health, including the increased risk of developing lung cancer for asbestos workers who smoke
  • the types, uses and likely occurrence of asbestos and asbestos materials in buildings and plant
  • the general procedures to deal with an emergency, eg an uncontrolled release of asbestos dust into the workplace
  • how to avoid the risk of exposure to asbestos

Online learning (often referred to as e–learning) is increasingly used as a method of providing asbestos awareness training. HSE recognises the use of e-learning as a viable delivery method, among others, for asbestos awareness training, provided it satisfies the requirements of Regulation 10 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and the supporting Approved Code of Practice L143 'Managing and working with asbestos'.

NOTE: Workers who plan to carry out work that will disturb asbestos require a higher level of information, instruction and training, in addition to asbestos awareness. This should take account of whether the work is non-licensed; notifiable non-licensed work (NNLW); or licensed work and should be job specific.

  1. Welcome and guidance from your Tutor: Andrew Protheroe MSc MSc CMIOSH DipNEBOSH EnvDipNEBOSH
  2. Module 1: Background - Properties, production and use of asbestos, and its effect on health
  3. Module 2: Where can it found? - The types and uses of asbestos
  4. Module 3: Legal requirements - Responsibilities
  5. Module 4: Emergency action - preparedness and response.

IMPORTANT: This course is intended to furnish you with the knowledge to safely identify asbestos and where it may be found. It does not qualify you to work with asbestos.

Duration: Most people complete this course in under 1 hour 30 minutes.

Certificate Expiry: The certificate issued for this course will expire 1 year from the date of successful completion.

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