Global Asbestos Congress 2004

Defining a Minimum Global Standard for the Training and Competency of Persons Involved in Management and Work with Asbestos

Max Lopacki
National Asbestos Training & Accreditation Scheme (NATAS), the U.K

[Paper not submitted - author could not attend]

Abstract
There are many differing interpretations and standards of training throughout the world for persons, who manage, work with or abate asbestos that has been installed in buildings, premises, ships etc. Certain countries are well advanced in defining, legislating and policing minimum standards, while in other countries asbestos worker protection legislation is non-existent and training for such work is not even a concept understood. Even where training requirements are defined and enforced there is still considerable disparity between active countries in respect of the definition of "training", who requires training and what the training should consist of and how often training should be undertaken. This disparity was highlighted recently when an EU funded research project, undertaken by the HSL, part of the UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE) aimed to identify training activities and standardize asbestos worker training throughout participating EU member states. The disparity increases further when considering the US, Asia, Australia and many other regions where asbestos abatement markets are in varying stages of development ranging from newly emerging to fully mature. This paper aims to review the varying standards around the world (where know to the author) and asks the question "Is it possible to define a Minimum Global Standard for the Training and Competency of Persons Involved in Management and Work with Asbestos?"