Concerns raised that asbestos training in South West construction industry is at its lowest level for five years

With construction sites in South West now re-open following lockdown, Sanctus Training Ltd has raised concerns about the lack of asbestos training in the construction industry that has been undertaken since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Sanctus Training Ltd, which is a member of the UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) has spoken out after the association revealed that the number of construction workers who have undertaken asbestos training since March has steeply declined and is at its lowest level for five years.

Prior to the Corona crisis, nationally an average of 18,000 workers a month completed asbestos training. Over the last six months (March – August), an average of 6,000 workers a month undertook asbestos training delivered by the UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA)-approved training providers, a fall of more than 66%.

Tina Smith, Business Manager, commented: “Our concern is that health and safety training is being overlooked as construction sites push to make up for time lost during the lockdown. This not only increases construction workers’ risk of exposure to deadly asbestos but also the buildings’ users. “

Asbestos-related health issues, such as lung cancer and mesothelioma, are not identified immediately after exposure to asbestos. It takes between 15 years and up to 60 years before deadly asbestos-related diseases present themselves.

The latency period of asbestos, coupled with a substantial drop in training numbers, could mean that the UK will be facing a greater amount of deaths from asbestos over the next 15 – 60 years. To reduce this risk, it is important that delivery of asbestos training returns to pre-Covid levels.”

Deaths from asbestos exposure have increased dramatically in the last 15 years after widespread use between 1950s and 70s. Since 2018, there have been more than 5,000 deaths annually in the UK from asbestos-related cancers – the largest single industrial killer ever seen in the UK.

The HSE recommends that asbestos refresher training courses should be undertaken to help ensure knowledge of asbestos awareness is maintained. The asbestos regulations also make it clear that asbestos training for non-licensable and licensable asbestos works should be carried out at least annually.

Tina added: “It is now vitally important that all construction employers and workers ensure that all asbestos training is up-to-date. These are difficult times, but this is a matter of life or death.”

To ensure asbestos training continues to be accessible during the pandemic, UKATA approved its 200-member companies and individuals to deliver asbestos courses by video conference technology.

Sanctus Training Ltd is an approved member of UKATA and is now fully operational delivering asbestos training courses by face-to-face observing social distancing guidelines.

To find out more or to book your training visit, call 01453 828555 or email


Established in 2008, UKATA is a highly respected, leading authority on asbestos training. Our passion is to both maintain and improve asbestos training, ensuring the highest standards are upheld by means of continually monitoring UKATA training provided by our members.

UKATA continuously works within current legislation as a minimum, whilst collaborating with industry partners to ensure that the UK has the highest standards of asbestos safety.

UKATA freely shares knowledge and information both on our website and across social media, demonstrating that education remains our top priority.

To find a UKATA approved asbestos training provider near you, visit or for free advice call our team on 01246 824437.

For further information, please contact:

Sanctus Training,, 01453 828555

Training/ Meeting Room at Sanctus Training Ltd

Sanctus Training Ltd can offer flexible Training/ Meeting Room hire at our recently refurbished offices in Quedgeley, Gloucester.  Our offices are easy to access, just 5 miles from M5 junction 12, Sanctus Training Ltd can offer a day package to suit your individual needs.


Training/ Meeting room hire from £150.00 per day (exclusive VAT) which can hold up to 150 delegates.  Room layouts are adaptable and can be set up to suit your requirements from Boardroom to Theatre style.


Our Day Package includes the following which can be flexible in order to meet any specific needs:


  • A welcome from our professional training team
  • Use of the training room and breakout area
  • Unlimited coffee, tea, water, fruit squash and biscuits throughout the day
  • Catering options available to suit the needs of the delegates
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free use of audio visual equipment
  • Onsite technical support with our in-house ICT Manager
  • Free onsite parking

Sanctus Training Ltd has provided quality training and high customer service for over 20 years.  A well-established provider of a broad range of training and consultancy services from our Training Centres in Gloucestershire.