Mark Seaborn of Pennington Choices

Asbestos increase prompts free training

Free asbestos awareness training for local tradesmen has been offered by Pennington Choices as part of the Health & Safety Executive's 'Hidden Killer' campaign to raise awareness about asbestos-related deaths.

Across Britain, more than 40,000 people have died from the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma since the late 1960s and the latest figures show that the annual numbers dying from this disease are increasing.

Asbestos came into popular use within the building trade in the 1950s and can be notoriously difficult to identify; found in pipe insulation, boilers, floor tiles, ceiling tiles, sprayed coatings and certain kinds of roofing materials.

Mark Seaborn, managing director of Pennington Choices, said: "Many people, including tradesmen, don't realise how common it is to find asbestos in buildings built before 2000. It's important to be able to identify it and also to know what to do if you do find it."

In an effort to increase awareness about the dangers of asbestos and to help tradesmen protect themselves from the potentially fatal effects of asbestos exposure, Runcorn-based housing consultancy, Pennington Choices has accepted an invitation from the Health & Safety Executive and pledged eight hours of free asbestos awareness training to help local tradesmen protect themselves from the deadly dust.

The free training is available on two dates:

  • Wednesday 19 October, from 4pm to 6pm
  • Wednesday 16 November, 4pm to 6pm

The sessions are open to workers who are likely to disturb asbestos while carrying out their everyday work such as joiners, electricians, plumbers, roofers and builders.

Seaborn added: "We welcomed the opportunity to be involved in such a worthwhile initiative. In the North West, there were 1,251 mesothelioma deaths in the five years between 2004 and 2008. Though there is little that can be done to help those already suffering the effects of exposure years ago, we can prevent this hidden killer claiming another generation by ensuring there is good quality and accessible training out there. Hopefully the free training we have pledged will make a real difference to how tradesmen in Runcorn and the surrounding areas approach jobs – putting their health first."

  • If you would like to sign up for one of the free asbestos awareness training courses that are taking place at the Pennington Choices head office in Runcorn, email Hannah Snowden on or tel. 01928 568 842.

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