22 Jan Next generation of construction workers are being taught to recognise the hidden dangers of asbestos
THE next generation of construction workers are being given the skills they need to protect themselves and others from the dangers of asbestos thanks to award-winning asbestos management consultancy, Acorn Analytical Services.
Head of Operations Dan Crask has been working with first year plumbing and electrical students at Northampton College, delivering sessions which explain how asbestos remains a significant threat to health 25 years after its use in new buildings was banned in the UK.
As well as helping the students to identify asbestos, and the places where it can be found, the students have also learned the importance of asbestos surveys, keeping up-to-date reports and where to find relevant information about a building’s asbestos status before starting any work.
Dan said: “Many people working on site have little or no knowledge of asbestos which is deeply concerning.
“If asbestos fibres are disturbed accidently, and then inhaled, the risk of going on to develop serious lung problems – or even mesothelioma – is greatly increased. Even after 25 years, mesothelioma remains one of the UK’s biggest workplace killers.
“With that in mind, when the opportunity arose to work with Northampton College, we were eager to get involved.
“It’s absolutely vital that this next generation of tradespeople should be fully informed about the dangers of asbestos and the procedures they should follow if they do come across it.
“It’s a course which I believe all construction students should have access to. We already have plans to build on our relationship with Northampton College, delivering sessions to first- and second-year construction students to ensure they are fully informed.”
Northampton College Curriculum Manager for Construction and Electrical, Mark Bradshaw, said: “A lot of focus is placed on new build homes these days but at Northampton College we’re working hard to address the heritage skills gap within construction as well as ensuring health and safety is a priority for all our construction students so they’re properly prepared for working in the industry.
“Asbestos wasn’t banned until 1999, so any property built before this time – including homes, schools, hospitals and shoe factories – could potentially include asbestos which is why it’s so vital that our students learn about the risks it poses and how to manage it safely.
“We were thrilled that Acorn Analytical Services took the time to share their knowledge and expert advice with us. Our students were really engaged with their sessions and asked lots of questions. The sessions also helped our staff with their own continuing personal development, and they’ll be sharing what they’ve learned from Acorn with an even wider group of students.
“We look forward to establishing a strong working relationship with Acorn for years to come.”
To find out more about how businesses can partner with Northampton College, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01604 734323.
For more information, visit www.acorn-as.com or call 0844 818 0895.