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Pennington Choices Ltd asbestos safety training campaign

UKATA members are offering training to tradesmen at risk from asbestos related disease

DIY enthusiasts and tradesmen running small businesses are to be offered free asbestos safety training that could potentially save their lives, thanks to a new national campaign being launched by UKATA, the UK Asbestos Training Association and Pennington Choices Ltd has announced they are taking part.

Entitled ‘Train Safe, Work Safe, Keep Safe’, the campaign will see UKATA members including Pennington Choices offer free asbestos training to those smaller traders and individuals (on selected dates in September and October this year) as means of highlighting the dangers of asbestos and the need for essential training for those who may encounter the substance.

“I would like to thank Pennington Choices Ltd for their support and backing of our Train Safe, Work Safe, Keep Safe campaign,” said Craig Evans, General Manager of UKATA. “In the last few years our members have delivered over 600,000 asbestos training courses but we are all too aware there are still thousands of tradespeople who have not received asbestos training of any kind and Pennington Choices Ltd will be playing a key role in helping us to keep delivering these essential courses.”

Every week in the UK, 20 tradespeople die from diseases caused by exposure to asbestos fibres as long ago as the 1950s through to 1983, when strict safety guidelines on the use and removal of asbestos were introduced.

Debbie Beasley, Asbestos Management Consultant at Pennington Choices Ltd said:

“As a UKATA member, we were keen to lend our support to the Train Safe, Work Safe, Keep Safe Campaign" 

“Like many of our fellow UKATA members, we are passionate about delivering high quality asbestos training as a practical way of highlighting the very real dangers of exposure to asbestos. Larger organisations will be aware of the legal requirement for asbestos training, but smaller companies and individual tradespeople may not be.  The Train Safe, Work Safe, Keep Safe Campaign is an extremely positive way of raising  this awareness and hopefully will attract the individual who has not yet received any kind of asbestos training."

“Individual tradespeople can be on the front line of asbestos exposure by inadvertently coming into contact with deadly fibres if they disturb asbestos during building work,” added Craig. “This makes the UKATA Train Safe, Work Safe, Keep Safe Campaign so important and without the support of members like Pennington Choices Ltd it would not be possible. I would like to personally thank Pennington Choices Ltd for working with us and I hope together we can get achieve a great result.”

The weekly toll amongst small traders includes eight joiners, six electricians and four plumbers - and experts predict the UK’s annual death rate of 4,500 will soar in the next five years. Damage caused to the lungs by asbestos inhalation can lay dormant for up to 50 years and a huge number of late-stage cases are about to be diagnosed, says UKATA.

The legacy of more than half a century of exposure to asbestos at work is about to be seen in thousands of former ship-builders, boilermakers, builders, plumbers, teachers, nurses and their families. Mesothelioma alone is thought to be silently afflicting one in every 100 men born in the 1940s in the UK and Guy’s Hospital in London has predicted that 100,000 people in the developing world who are alive now will die from the condition.

UKATA sets standards in asbestos training and ensures members meet those standards. It launched the new campaign, Train Safe, Work Safe, Keep Safe, at the Health and Safety Expo which ran from June 16-16 at the Excel London. UKATA will be promoting this free training opportunity with a national media campaign and in a further move, has recruited Victoria Castelluccio as the Marketing Officer responsible for overseeing this new initiative.

“The Train Safe Work Safe, Keep Safe campaign has the potential to make a big difference and Pennington Choices Ltd is helping us to do that,” said Victoria Castelluccio when commenting on the campaign.

“My job is to ensure that our members like Pennington Choices Ltd receive the support they need to make the initiative a success. We hope to see eligible tradespeople take advantage of the training Pennington Choices Ltd is offering.”

Photograph and caption:
Craig Evans, General Manager of UKATA (The UK Asbestos Training Association)