Safety Spotlight – Asbestos Awareness and COSHH

For the month of April, we are putting in the spotlight two key areas relating to our Hazard of the Month, Asbestos. These key areas are Asbestos Awareness and Control of Hazardous Substances.

Asbestos Awareness

Insulation and sprayed coatingsDespite an outright ban on the use of Asbestos being implemented in the UK in 1999, there is still a chance it could be found in any industrial or residential building built or refurbished before the year 2000. Therefore, even though it may not be used anymore, Asbestos is still a hidden killer; to this day, over 5000 people die every year because of respiratory conditions brought on by Asbestos, such as Mesothelioma, Asbestosis and Lung Cancer.

Luckily, we have developed ways of controlling the risk and training is a key part of this. It is mandatory as part of ‘The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012’, for all individuals who are liable to be exposed to asbestos fibres at work to be appropriately trained. This includes anyone who may come into contact with or disturb asbestos and is not just limited to those involved in its removal. This includes but is not limited to:

  • 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 and Building Surveyors.

An operative not trained in Asbestos Awareness who has the possibility of encountering it during their works would not only put their employer in breach of the aforementioned regulations but would also put the operative at risk of potentially catastrophic irreversible health costs.

If you need to make sure your workers are adequately trained and compliant with the law, our Asbestos Awareness online training course is RoSPA Accredited and an easy and accessible option.

Control of Hazardous Substances

Glass tubes containing different coloured chemicals.Control of Substances Hazardous to Health, or COSHH is the law that requires employers to control substances that are hazardous to health.

Ignore a hazardous substance today and you may wish you hadn’t by tomorrow. Most businesses use substances or products that are mixtures of substances. Some processes create substances. These could cause harm to employees, contractors and other people. Sometimes substances are easily recognised as harmful but common substances such as paint, bleach or dust from natural materials may also be harmful.

Failure to comply with COSHH regulations can have serious consequences. For example, just last month an engineering company based in Coventry found guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work 1974 Act. after four employees were exposed to hazardous substances due to a chemical spill that caused significant ill health and time off work as a result. They were provided with inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE) and respiratory protective equipment (RPE) to undertake a clear up, for which they had no training. As a result, the company was fined £13,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,551.

Therefore, training in relation to handling hazardous substances is crucial for both employers and employees so that they know what hazardous substances are, how they are classified and how to implement safety measures to ensure that users can work safely with them.

WA Management’s Control of Hazardous Substances (COSHH) online training course is RoSPA accredited E-Learning and an ideal way to train employers and employees on their responsibilities regarding hazardous substances.


10% off Asbestos Awareness and COSHH E-Learning courses with the code 'asbestos10'.

Because of the truly valuable information they offer, for this month only we have a 10% discount for these two courses as we feel they are a great resource to help ensure workplace safety. Just use the code ‘asbestos10‘ at checkout!