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Why is asbestos training needed? Asbestos Exposure and Occupational Safety are two critical terms. The naturally occurring mineral asbestos has been used in a wide variety of occupational settings. Primarily used for its insulating and fireproofing capabilities, asbestos has been incorporated into an estimated 5,000 products. Occupations that have a strong history of using asbestos-containing products include those in the shipyard, power plant, chemical plant, construction, manufacturing and automotive industries. Asbestos training raises awareness to the risks of asbestos.

Due to the widespread use of asbestos, all workers within these industries may have been exposed to the toxic mineral at some point during their employment. Exposure to asbestos has been linked to a number of serious health conditions, including lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma. While there are no immediate health effects after experiencing asbestos exposure, symptoms of these conditions can arise between 10 and 50 years from the time of someone’s initial exposure to asbestos.

Those who have previously worked in the industries listed above should receive annual checkups to look for signs of an asbestos-related disease. There are very few treatment options for these conditions and early detection may offer patients a greater chance of survival. Because asbestos-related conditions are typically diagnosed during the later stages of development, prognosis is often poor. For example, the average mesothelioma life expectancy ranges between four and 18 months following diagnosis.

In Australia, the construction industry made the most use of asbestos. Asbestos training is required for most workers who intend to remove asbestos. The toxic substance could be found in roofing materials, insulation, flooring and ceiling tiles, siding, paints, drywall and other construction products throughout homes, schools, buildings and various industrial facilities. Shipyards along Australia’s coastline also made significant use of asbestos products. In 2003, a nationwide ban was placed on the importation and use of all forms of asbestos.

The increasing number of mesothelioma cases reported in Australia resulted in the development of a mesothelioma register in 1986 in order to monitor the number of cases throughout the country. Since then, the number of mesothelioma cases recorded has steadily continued to rise. According to the International Labor Organization, an estimated 100,000 workers pass away worldwide each year from an asbestos-related disease.

Asbestos training can be done online or in face-to-face training. A class ‘A’ or class ‘B’ License is required from WorkCover or WorkSafe for businesses intending to remove asbestos for profit.

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