By law, any worker who intentionally comes into contact with asbestos at the workplace must undergo asbestos safety training through an accredited organization. Managers must have proof of the employee’s asbestos training (i.e. a copy of their UKATA certificate) before assigning the employee any asbestos tasks at the workplace.

The required classes vary by the type of work that the employee will perform. Supervisors and managers are mandated to undergo different training than asbestos workers or other members of an asbestos-containing workplace. Typically, the costs of these training courses are covered by the employer.

There are three classes of training – Class A, Class B and Class C. Of the three, Class C is the most extensive.

Asbestos Safety Training for Category A Asbestos Work

Workers in asbestos-containing buildings who do not directly handle asbestos are required to undergo Category A asbestos training. This awareness training covers the following topics:

  • The history of asbestos use
  • Which products typically contain asbestos
  • Health effects of asbestos exposure
  • Principles of controlling the asbestos
  • How asbestos can be safely and legally removed

These classes typically last for half a day.

Asbestos Safety Training for Category B Asbestos Work

Category B asbestos safety training is designed for workers who may disturb asbestos during construction or demolition products. These classes are slightly more in-depth, covering all of the principles from Category A classes with the addition of the following topics:

  • Action and control limits
  • Personal protective equipment/respiratory protective equipment
  • What licensed contractors can do vs. what non-licensed contractors can do.

These courses are typically capped at eight or fewer participants. Category B asbestos safety classes last a full workday (seven to eight hours).

Asbestos Safety Training for Category C Asbestos Work

Category C asbestos safety training is the most rigorous and in-depth of the three. These courses are required for all employees of licensed asbestos companies.

In addition to the topics covered in Category A and B training, Category C classes add hands-on training in a specially built facility. They include guidance on how to handle and dispose of asbestos, and the training typically spans across three days.

Refresher Training

Each of these training classes is valid for one year. Before their expiration date, workers must take a day-long refresher course that highlights recent updates in asbestos legislation or management practices.

Refresher courses or continued training may also cover hazardous waste regulations, competent person courses, face-fit testing or training consolidation.

Miss the last article in our asbestos safety series? Check out our tips for keeping your home safe from asbestos.

Miss the last article in our asbestos safety series? Check out our tips for keeping your home safe from asbestos.





Faith Franz is a writer for the Mesothelioma Center. She combines her interests in whole-body health and medical research to educate the mesothelioma community about the newest developments in cancer care.