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

Celebrating 20 years at Sanctus Training!

Tina Smith, Business Development Manager at Sanctus Training is celebrating 20 years at Sanctus Training Ltd today (5th June 2020). We thought it would be nice to give you an insight into the successful, highly respected women that she is. Here are some fun facts…


  • Favourite film?

Sliding doors, tend to go for chick flicks


  • Favourite food?

Thai, Italian. I have two daughters who are chefs so really enjoy their food!


  • Favourite place?



  • Favourite book?

Not much of a book reader, although during lockdown have been reading more. I enjoy romantic comedy and true stories.


  • Favourite past time?

Enjoy socialising with family and friends. Recently taken up gardening and decorating.  We have a dog called Molly who I enjoy walking. I have lived in my village practically all my life but since lockdown have found walks and areas I haven’t been to before.


Tina is passionate about helping others and throughout her life has volunteered to support various charities including Home Start and the local Youth Group which she help set up and had a big part in raising funds for the kids park. More recently Tina has been helping those in need during the current Covid-19 lockdown by dog walking for those self-isolating and helping with shopping for the vulnerable.


Rugby is a huge passion for Tina and she can often be seen at Kingsholm Rugby stadium supporting Gloucester and standing on the side-lines supporting her own son playing local rugby whatever the weather!


Tina originally started working for Peter Cooke in 1998 but officially became Business Manager for Sanctus Training Ltd in 2000.


I love my job as I feel I have grown with the company and have a sense of belonging. We have a unique bond and friendship (The Sanctus family). I like helping people find the right course for them and have a sense of achievement when they finish the course and are so proud of themselves. I also enjoy working with people and building strong customer relationships’


We, the Sanctus Training Team, are all very much looking forward to delivering courses and working alongside our customers once again.



International Women’s Day!

To celebrate International Women’s Day on the 8th March, we thought it appropriate to ask our very successful, enthusiastic and fun Health & Safety trainer to share with us some interesting facts about herself…


  • Favourite film?

It’s a Wonderful Life


  • Favourite food?

Italian food


  • Favourite place?

Love exploring cities anywhere in the world but always come back to the Dorset coast


  • Favourite book?

Crime / Detective novels


  • Favourite past time?

Singing and cooking (often at the same time!)


Angie is a passionate lover of music, a chorister from the age of 10, and in the past has been involved in a local junior choir.  Football is another passion and being the daughter of a famous referee – it had to be!


A successful and highly respected women in what is predominantly a male environment she started her career as an industrial chemist.


” Whilst I appreciate that male workers currently out number female workers in the construction industry, I don’t see being female as a barrier to anything!”

Angie later branched into health and safety. As a self-employed health and safety consultant, she worked in many business sectors from engineering to hairdressing. Accepting a specially created role by one client as their Health and Safety Manager, she trained staff in safe work systems and raised awareness of health and safety risks – a firm foundation for her training career and a wealth of experience to share with delegates.


Angie is a member of the Senior Management team at Sanctus with decades of health and safety experience and more than ten years’ in training. Instrumental in expanding the training offering, she introduced first aid courses and developed the presentations in line with the awarding body criteria. Many of these courses, such as first aid, fire safety and risk assessment are vital across all industry sectors.

Angie believes the trainer is instrumental in ensuring delegates have a pleasant and productive training experience, regardless of ability. Her style is interactive, creating an environment where delegates can contribute, share experiences and learn from each other as well as the trainer, with the emphasis on learning being fun and confidence boosting. High importance is placed on equipping delegates to put their newly acquired knowledge into practice within their own organisations.


Angie’s qualifications include NEBOSH General Certificate and Construction Certificate, plus Professional Trainer and Preparing to Teach in the Life-long Learning Sector Certificate. She holds Certificates for all the courses that she delivers, having attended each course.


Health & Safety Trainers – Kevin & Debby Hithersay – Husband & Wife Team

We asked our fun, enthusiastic and high quality trainers, Kevin (delivers Health & Safety courses including; Site Safety Plus, First Aid & Mental Health First Aid) and Debby (delivers First Aid and Mental Health First Aid) to share with us some fun facts about themselves…


  • Favourite film?

Debz – Blood Diamond & House of Wax

Kev – Harry Potter & Lord of the Rings


  • Favourite food?

Debz – Marmite and strawberry’s but not together!

Kev – Curry


  • Favourite place?

Debz – East coast…Flamborough

Kev – Gili Islands


  • Favourite book?

Debz – Pets Cemetery

Kev – anything


  • Favourite past time?

Debz – Dancing (Ballroom and Latin)

Kev – Dancing (Ballroom and Latin)


With many years of experience between them Kevin and Debby are a great asset to Sanctus Training Limited.


Debby is conscientious and professional person with extensive experience working within the care sector, both private and local authority care settings. Whilst working for the NHS at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, she acquired qualifications of Certificate and Diploma in both Anatomy and Physiology. Debby now delivers high quality First Aid training to individuals, providing them with knowledge, and understanding of the principles of first aid, building confidence with an interactive and fully informative course. Also a Mental Health First Aid trainer Debby offers support and comprehensive training to others to becoming mental health first aiders in their own workplace.


Kevin is a chartered member of IOSH (CMIOSH) and also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health (FRSPH) and has been involved in health and safety on a full-time basis since Jan 2001, initially as a Health and Safety Officer with Action 4 Employment (A4E). In 2003 Kevin took on a role with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) as a Health, Safety and Supervisory Trainer delivering a broad spectrum of health, safety and management courses. Kevin has now set up in business as a sole trader delivering a full range of health and safety training.