Key Asbestos Legislation
The Control of Asbestos Regulations are there to help prevent contractors or maintenance staff from working on asbestos containing materials (ACM’s) without knowing. I.E.
- The property owner should be managing their asbestos correctly
- An Asbestos Refurbishment & Demolition Survey should be carried out on the work area before any destructive works commence
- Contractors or maintenance staff should have received asbestos awareness training so that they have an understanding of the risks and are better able to recognise typical ACM’s
- They should be told were the asbestos is in the property so that they can avoid it
- If they need to work with or disturb asbestos then they must have received appropriate training for the task
Regulation 4 “The Duty to Manage”
Regulation 4 applies to all non domestic properties built before 2000 and requires them to ACTIVELY MANAGE their asbestos. The regulation places a duty of care on the property owner or responsible person (The Duty Holder); they should form an Asbestos Management Plan for the ongoing management of their asbestos risks.
This would normally require a Asbestos Management Survey and the findings of which would be used to form an Asbestos Management Plan for the ongoing management of the asbestos.
- Ascertain if there are any Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM’s) on the premises
Note: materials must be presumed to contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence to prove otherwise
- Determine the type and condition of any such materials and assess the risk of disturbance/ exposure
- Collate and keep an up-to-date record of the location of these ACM’s or presumed ACM’s.
- Prepare a comprehensive Asbestos Management Plan detailing how the risks are to be managed.
- Take the necessary steps to implement the management plan.
- Periodically review and update the management plan.
- Make the management plan readily available to anyone who may work near or may disturb the Asbestos
Regulation 5 “Identification of the presence of Asbestos”
If appropriate information for the scope of work to be undertaken is not available or is not in a reliable form, then before carrying out any work involving the potential disturbance of the fabric of the building the employer should either:
- Establish whether the part of the building that is likely to be disturbed contains asbestos, and if so what type. This may require a survey and analysis of representative samples; or
- Assume that the part of the building being worked upon contains asbestos and take the precautions outlined in the Regulations for licensed work
Regulation 10 “Information, instruction and training”
Every employer must provide suitable training (which includes information and instruction) to employees and their supervisors who are or are liable to disturb asbestos during the course of their work. This should make them aware of (among other things):
- the properties of asbestos, its health effects and the interaction of asbestos and smoking
- the type of materials likely to contain asbestos
- what work could cause asbestos exposure and the importance of preventing exposure
- how work can be done safely and what equipment is needed
- emergency procedures
The training must be given at regular intervals. It needs to be proportionate to the nature and degree of exposure and so should contain the appropriate level of detail, be suitable to the job, and should use written materials, oral presentation and demonstration as necessary.