FAQ’S ASBESTOS ................................................. What is the health risk from exposure to asbestos? Asbestos is responsible for over 4700 deaths every year. Exposure to asbestos can cause four main diseases: • Mesothelioma (a cancer of the lining of the lungs; it is always fatal and is almost exclusively caused by exposure to asbestos) • Asbestos-related lung cancer (which is almost always fatal) • Asbestosis (a scarring of the lungs which is not always fatal but can be a very debilitang disease, greatly aﬀecng quality of life) • Diﬀuse pleural thickening (a thickening of the membrane surrounding the lungs which can restrict lung expansion leading to breathlessness.) It can take anywhere between 15–60 years for any symptoms to develop aer exposure to asbestos, so these diseases will not aﬀect you immediately but may do later in life.
What is the Control of Asbestos Regulaons? The Control of Asbestos Regulaons 2012 (CAR) came into force in the United Kingdom on 6th April 2012 and brought together a number of other asbestos related pieces of legislaon. The pieces of legislaon the regulaons revoked and replaced were the 'Control of Asbestos Regulaons 2006', the 'Asbestos (Licensing) Regulaons 1983' and the 'Asbestos (Prohibions) Regulaons 1992'. The Regulaons prohibit the importaon, supply and use of all forms of asbestos. They connue the ban introduced for blue and brown asbestos in 1985 and for white asbestos in 1999. They also connue to ban the second-hand use of asbestos products such as asbestos cement sheets and asbestos boards and les; including panels which have been covered with paint or textured plaster containing asbestos. The regulaons are supported by various guidance and Approved Code of Pracce (ACoP) documents published by the Health and Safety Execuve.
What is the ‘duty to manage’ and who has it? The duty to manage asbestos is contained in regulaon 4
of the CAR. It requires the person who has the duty (i.e. the "duty holder") to: • Take reasonable steps to ﬁnd out if there are materials containing asbestos in non-domesc premises, and if so, its amount, where it is and what condion it is in; • Presume materials contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence that they do not; • Make, and keep up-to-date, a record of the locaon and condion of the asbestos containing materials or materials which are presumed to contain asbestos; • Assess the risk of anyone being exposed to ﬁbres from the materials idenﬁed; • Prepare a plan that sets out in detail how the risks from these materials will be managed; • Take the necessary steps to put the plan into acon; • Periodically review and monitor the plan and the arrangements to act on it so that the plan remains relevant and up-to-date; and provide informaon on the locaon and condion of the materials to anyone who is liable to work on or disturb them.
How do I become asbestos compliant? There are three essenal steps in order to become asbestos compliant: 1. Find out whether the premises contain asbestos, and, if so, where it is and what condion it is in. If in doubt, materials must be presumed to contain asbestos; 2. Assess the risk; and 3. Make a plan to manage that risk and act on it.
In many cases, the duty holder is the person or organisaon that has clear responsibility for the maintenance or repair of non-domesc premises through an explicit agreement such as a tenancy agreement or contract. The extent of the duty will depend on the nature of that agreement. In a building occupied by one leaseholder, the agreement might be for either the owner or leaseholder to take on the full duty for the whole building; or it might be to share the duty. In a mul-occupied building, the agreement might be that the owner takes on the full duty for the whole building. Or it might be that the duty is shared - for example, the owner takes responsibility for the common parts while the leaseholders take responsibility for the parts they occupy. Somemes, there might be an agreement to pass the responsibilies to a managing agent. In some cases, there may be no tenancy agreement or contract. Or, if there is, it may not specify who has responsibility for the maintenance or repair of non-domesc premises. In these cases, or where the premises are unoccupied, the duty is placed on whoever has control of the premises, or part of the premises. Oen this will be the owner.
What kinds of building are aﬀected by asbestos regulaons?
Here are some basic principles to remember: • Asbestos is only dangerous when disturbed. If it is safely managed and contained, it doesn’t present a health hazard; • Don’t remove asbestos unnecessarily - removing it can be more dangerous than leaving it in place and managing it; • Not all asbestos materials present the same risk. The measures that need to be taken for controlling the risks from materials such as pipe insulaon are diﬀerent from those needed in relaon to asbestos cement; • If you want to bring in an asbestos surveyor / consultant, make sure they are competent. • If you are unsure about whether certain materials contain asbestos, presume they do and treat them as such, unl you have had me to test the material; • Remember that the duty to manage is all about pung in place the praccal steps necessary to protect maintenance workers and others from the risk of exposure to asbestos ﬁbres. It is not about removing all asbestos. • If any ACMs need to be sealed, encapsulated or removed, remember you will need to employ a licensed contractor if the materials are high risk (e.g. pipe insulaon and asbestos insulang panels). If the materials are lower risk (e.g. asbestos cement) then an unlicensed but competent contractor may carry out this work.
The duty to manage covers all non-domesc premises. Such premises include all industrial, commercial or public buildings such as factories, warehouses, oﬃces, shops, hospitals and schools. Non-domesc premises also include those 'common’ areas of certain domesc premises: purpose-built ﬂats or houses converted into ﬂats. The common areas of such domesc premises might include foyers, corridors, lis and li-shas, staircases, roof spaces, gardens, yards, outhouses and garages - but would not include the ﬂat itself. Such common areas would not include rooms within a private residence that are shared by more than one household such as bathrooms, kitchens etc in shared houses and communal dining rooms and lounges in sheltered accommodaon.
What is an asbestos management survey and do I need one?
We are planning to refurbish or demolish some buildings do I need a survey?
An asbestos survey is an eﬀecve way to help you manage asbestos in your premises by providing accurate informaon about the locaon, amount and type of any asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). While not a legal requirement, it is recommended that you arrange a survey if you suspect there are ACMs in your premises. Alternavely, you may choose to presume there is asbestos in your premises and would then need to take all appropriate precauons for any work that takes place. However, it is good pracce to have an asbestos survey carried out so you can be absolutely sure whether asbestos is present or not. The asbestos survey can help to provide enough informaon so that an asbestos register, a risk assessment and a management plan can then be prepared. The survey will also involve sampling and analysis to determine the presence of asbestos ¬– so asbestos surveys should only be carried out by competent surveyors who can clearly demonstrate they have the necessary skills, experience and qualiﬁcaons. A good asbestos survey will idenfy:
A Refurbishment and Demolion survey is required where a building, or part of it, need upgrading, refurbishment or demolion. The survey does not need a record of the condion of asbestos-containing materials (ACM). A Refurbishment / demolion survey aims to ensure that: 1. Nobody will be harmed by work on ACM in the premises or equipment; 2. Such work will be done by the right contractor in the right way. The survey must locate and idenfy all ACM before any structural work begins at a stated locaon or on stated equipment at the premises. It involves destrucve inspecon and may also necessitate asbestos disturbance. The area surveyed should be vacated, and where asbestos disturbance has occurred cerﬁed 'ﬁt for reoccupaon' aer the survey.
• The locaon of any Asbestos-Containing Materials (ACMs) in the building – subject to the type of survey commissioned; • The type of asbestos each ACM contains; • The condion these materials are in; Following a survey, the surveyor should produce a survey report which details the ﬁndings. This informaon can help you prepare an asbestos register.
What is an asbestos register? The asbestos register is a key component of the required plan on how you will manage any asbestos found, or presumed to be, in your buildings. This management plan must contain current informaon about the presence and condion of any asbestos in the building. The asbestos risk register will therefore need to be updated on a regular basis (at least once a year). To do this you need to ensure: • Regular inspecons to check the current condion of ACMs take place; • Deleons are made to the register when any asbestos is removed; • Addions to the register when new areas are surveyed and asbestos is located; • Changes to the register (at any me asbestos-containing materials are found to have deteriorated);
The register can be kept as a paper or electronic record and it is very important that this is kept up to date and easily accessible. The informaon should be passed on to vising maintenance workers, who will need them to know the locaon and condion of any asbestos before they start work. Electronic copies are easier to update and are probably beer suited for people responsible for large numbers of properes or bigger premises.
What should I do if someone has disturbed and damaged asbestos? If someone has disturbed a known ACM or a material you suspect may contain asbestos, you can follow these steps to limit the spread of exposure and contaminaon: 1. Stop work immediately; 2. Keep everyone else out of the area; 3. If there is dust or debris on clothing, remove the clothing and place in a plasc bag, take a shower or wash thoroughly, leave the washing facilies clean; 4. Report to the person in charge immediately; 5. Put up a warning sign and take measure to restrict access; 6. If you only suspect the material to be an ACM, arrange for a sample to be analysed at a UKAS accredited laboratory; 7. Once the type, extent, and spread of contaminaon is established an appropriate plan for removal and clean up will need to be established; 8. If necessary seek help from Redhill Analysts Ltd.
What are my responsibilies in relaon to asbestos training? Regulaon 10 of the Control of Asbestos Regulaons (2012) states that as an employer you must ensure that: • Your employees have the training, knowledge, experience and ability to carry out the work without risk to themselves or others; • Supervisors and managers are also trained and aware of their responsibilies; • The training provider is competent and aware of the tasks that are likely to be carried out by employees; • Self employed workers should ensure that they are properly trained to protect themselves and ensure that others are not put at risk from their work acvies. All workers who are liable to disturb asbestos during their normal work should be trained so that they can recognise asbestos containing materials and know what to do if they come across them. The training needs to be appropriate for the work and the roles undertaken by individuals. There are three general types of asbestos training: 1. Awareness training 2. Training for work with asbestos that does not require a licence from HSE 3. Training for asbestos work that does require a licence from HSE.
Where is asbestos found in buildings? Some ACMs are more vulnerable to damage and more likely to give oﬀ ﬁbres than others. In general, the materials which contain a high percentage of asbestos are more easily damaged. The list below is roughly in order of ease of ﬁbre release (with the highest potenal ﬁbre release ﬁrst). Sprayed coangs, lagging and insulang board are more likely to contain blue or brown asbestos. Asbestos insulaon and lagging can contain up to 85% asbestos and are most likely to give oﬀ ﬁbres. Work with asbestos insulang board can result in equally high ﬁbre release if power tools are used. On the other hand, asbestos cement contains only 10-15% of the asbestos types. The asbestos is ghtly bound into the cement and the material will only give oﬀ ﬁbres if it is badly damaged or broken or is worked on (e.g. drilled, cut etc).
You are most likely to come across asbestos in these materials: • Sprayed asbestos and asbestos loose packing generally used as ﬁre breaks in ceiling voids; • Moulded or preformed lagging - generally used in thermal insulaon of pipes and boilers; • Sprayed asbestos - generally used as ﬁre protecon in ducts, ﬁre breaks, panels, parons, and on asbestos cement sheets around structural steel work; • Insulang boards used for ﬁre protecon, thermal insulaon, paroning and ducts and as soﬃts and as ceiling or wall panels; • Some ceiling les;
• Millboard, paper and paper products used for insulaon of electrical equipment. Asbestos paper has also been used as a ﬁre-proof facing on wood ﬁbreboard; • Asbestos cement products, which can be fully or semi-compressed into ﬂat or corrugated sheets. Corrugated sheets are largely used as rooﬁng and wall cladding. Other asbestos cement products include guers, rainwater pipes and water tanks; • Certain textured coangs; • Bitumen rooﬁng material; and • Vinyl or thermoplasc ﬂoor les.
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Redhills is one of the UK’s leading asbestos and environmental consultancies. We have produced this document to answer the following asbesto...