Control of asbestos regulations 2012

The control of asbestos regulation 2012 came into force on 6 April 2012. In practice the changes are fairly limited. They mean that some types of non-licensed work with asbestos now have additional requirements, i.e. notification of work, medical surveillance and record keeping.

What are control of asbestos regulations 2012

Most work with asbestos need to be carried out by a licensed contractor. This includes work in asbestos insulation or asbestos lagging; and work on asbestos insulation board (AIB) where the risk assessment demonstrates that the fibre release will be high, e.g. the material is badly damaged, or the work is not short duration work. 

Short duration means any one doing this type of work for less than one hour, or more people doing the work for a total of less than two hours, in any seven consecutive days.

The total time spent by all workers must not exceed two hours. This includes time spent setting up, cleaning and clearing-up. Non-licensed work includes work on asbestos-containing textured coatings and asbestos cement.

From 6 April 2012, some non-licensed work needs to be notified to the relevant enforcing authority. Brief written records should be retained of non-licensed work, which has to be notified, eg. copy of the notification with a list of workers on the project, plus the level of likely exposure of those workers to asbestos.

This does not require air monitoring on every job. If an estimate of degree of exposure can be made based on experience of similar past tasks or published guidance.

As from 2015, all workers/self-employed doing notifiable non-licensed work with asbestos must be under health surveillance by a Doctor.

Workers who are already under health surveillance for licensed work need to have another medical  examination for non-licensed work. BUT medicals for notifiable non-licensed work are not acceptable for those doing licensed work. There has been some modernisation of language and changes to reflect other legislation, e.g the prohibition section has been removed as the prohibition of supply and use of asbestos is now covered by REACH. 

The Asbestos Regulations also include the ‘duty to manage asbestos’  in non-domestic premises. Guidance on the duty to manage asbestos can be in the Approved Code of Practice and Managing asbestos 

Asbestos regulation explained overview

RPE is an important part of the control regime but it must not be the sole measure used to reduce exposure and should only be used to supplement other measures.

Work methods that control the release of fibres such as those detailed in the Asbestos Essentials task sheets for non-licensed work should be used. RPE must be suitable, must fit properly and must ensure that worker exposure is reduced as low as is reasonably practicable. 

Most asbestos removal work must be undertaken by a licensed contractor but any decision on whether particular work is licensable is based on the risk. Work is only exempt from licensing if:

  • The exposure of employees to asbestos fibres is sporadic and low intensity (but exposure cannot be considered to be sporadic and of low intensity if the concentration of asbestos in the air is liable to exceed 0.6 fibres measured over 10 minutes and it is clear from the risk assessment that the exposure of any employee to asbestos will not exceed the control limit.
  • the work involves – short, non-continuous maintenance activities. Work can only be considered as short, non-continuous maintenance activities if any one person carries out work with these materials for less than 1 hour in a 7-day period. The total time spent by all workers on the work should not exceed a total of 2 hours.  
  • Removal of materials in which the asbestos fibres are firmly linked in a matrix. Such materials include: asbestos cement; textured decorative coatings and paints which contain asbestos; articles of bitumen, plastic resin, or rubber which contain asbestos where their thermal or acoustic properties are incidental to their main purpose , for example vinyl floor tiles, electric cables, roofing felt and other insulation products which may be used at high temperatures but have no insulation purpose for example, gaskets, washers, ropes and seals.
  • encapsulation or sealing of ACMs which are in good condition; or 
  • Air monitoring and control, and the collection and analysis of samples to find out if a specific material contains asbestos.

Under the CAR 2012, anyone carrying out work on asbestos insulation, asbestos coating or asbestos insulation board (AIB) needs a license issued by the HSE  unless they meet one of the exemptions above.

Although work may not need a license to carry out a particular job, there is still a need to comply with the rest of the requirements of the CAR 2012. If the work is licensable there are a number of additional duties. Duty-holders need to;

  • notify the enforcing authority responsible for the site where they are working (for example the HSE or the local authority);
  • designate the work area (see Asbestos Regulations) 
  • prepare specific asbestos emergency procedures; and
  • pay for their employees to undergo medical surveillance.

The CAR 2012 require any analysis of the concentration of asbestos in the air to be measured in accordance with the 1997 WHO recommended method. As from 6 April 2007, a clearance certificate for reoccupation may only be issued by a body accredited to do so. 

The Regulations and CAoP apply to all work with asbestos. They apply in particular to work on or which disturbs building materials containing asbestos, asbestos sampling and laboratory analysis with the exception of clearing asbestos-containing land which is not specifically covered by the ACop. An additional ACoP entitled ‘ The Management of Asbestos in Non-domestic Premises’ is aimed at those who have repair and maintenance responsibilities for non-domestic premises. 

Most of the duties in the CAR 2012 are placed upon ‘an employer’ that is the person who employs the workers who are liable to be exposed to asbestos in the course of their work. Although the Regulations always refer to an employer, Regulation 3(1) makes it clear that self-employed people have the same duties towards themselves and others as an employer has towards his or her employees and others.

There is an exemption from certain regulatory requirements for particular, specified types of work with asbestos where any worker exposure will only be sporadic and low intensity and the exposure level is below the control limit (Regulation 3(2). Such work will not require a licence. All other work with asbestos will require a licence.

All other work with asbestos will require a licence (Regulation 8); must be notified to the relevant enforcing authority (Regulation 9); must have emergency arrangements in place (Regulation 18); and those working with the asbestos must be subject to medical surveillance and have health records (Regulation 22). Some of the guidance in the ACoP is specifically aimed at this more hazardous work and, for convenience, this work has been referred to as licensable work throughout the ACoP.

If the control limit for asbestos is exceeded in the working area, this triggers particular requirements including: 

  1. immediately informing employees and their representatives (Regulation 11 )
  2. identification of the reasons for the control limit being exceeded and the introduction of appropriate measures to prevent it being exceeded again(Regulation 11)
  3. stopped work until adequate measures have been taken to reduce employees’ exposure to below the control limit (Regulation 11)
  4. the designation of respirator zones and 
  5. the mandatory provision of RPE (Regulation 11), although such equipment should always be provided if it reasonable to do so (Regulation 11)

Where work with asbestos forms part of a larger project there will be a particular need to cooperate with other employers, and there may be other regulations which must be taken into account. However, the responsibility to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Asbestos Regulations remains with the employer or self-employed person.

There are exceptions from some requirements. 

Where Regulation 3 (2) applies for example, non-licensable work);

  • the work will not need to be notified to the relevant Enforcing Authority;
  • the work will not need to be carried out by holders of a licence to work with asbestos;
  • the workers will not need to have a current medical and a current health record
  • the employer will not need to prepare specific asbestos emergency procedures;
  • the area around work does not need to be identified as an asbestos area.

Work with the fallowing materials is likely only to produce sporadic and low-intensity worker exposure and can be categorized as complying with Regulation 3 as long as 3(2)(b) is fulfilled, that is it is clear from the risk assessment that the control limit will not be exceeded

  • asbestos cement 
  • textured decorative coating which contains asbestos;
  • any article of bitumen, plastic, resin or rubber which contains asbestos where its thermal or acoustic properties are incidental to its main purpose for example, vinyl floor tiles, electric cables, roofing felt and
  • asbestos materials such as paper linings, cardboards, felt, textiles, gaskets, washers, and rope where the products have no insulation purpose.

AIl work which is liable to expose employees to asbestos is unavoidable, then before starting the work, employees must make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risk created by the likely exposure to asbestos of employees and others who may be affected by the Asbestos Regulations. 

For non-licensable work it is now always necessary to make an assessment before each individual job. Where an employer carries out work which involves very similar jobs on a number of sites on the same  type of asbestos material, for example electrical and plumbing jobs, only one assessment for that work may be needed, although the plan of work should always be job specific.

However, for licensable work or where the degree and nature of the work varies significantly from site to site, for example in demolition or refurbishment, or where the type of asbestos material varies, a new assessment and plan of work see Regulation 7 will be necessary. 

For any work involving asbestos, including maintenance work that may disturb it, the employer of the workers involved must draw up a written plan of how the work is to be carried out before work starts. Employers must make sure that their employees follow the plan of work sometimes called a method statement so far as is reasonably practicable to do so.

Where unacceptable risks to health and/or safety are discovered while work is in progress, for example disturbance of hidden missed or incorrectly identified ACMs , any work affecting the asbestos should be stopped except for that necessary to render suitable control and prevent further spread. 

Where there is extensive damage to ACMs which causes contamination of the premises, or part of the premises, then the area should be immediately evacuated. Work should not restart until a new plan of work is drawn up or until the existing plan is amended. 

Some measures, for example, should only be carried out by licensed contractors.. For licensable work in particular, the plan of work should identify procedures to adopt in emergencies and indicate clearly what remedial measures can be undertaken by staff. 

This regulation means that an employer must not carry out work with asbestos (other than that fulfilling the conditions of regulation 3(2) to apply), including supervisory and ancillary work and work with asbestos in their own premises with their own employees, unless the employer holds a licence issued under this regulation and complies with its terms and conditions. 

This includes work with asbestos insulation, asbestos coatings (excluding asbestos-containing textured decorative coatings) and AIB. For supervisory work a licence is needed when directly supervising licensable work but not when the person concerned is: 

  • the client who has engaged a licensed contractor to do the work;
  • the principle or main contractor on a construction or demolition site if the licensable work is being done by a sub-contractor holding an asbestos licence;
  • an analyst checking that the area is clear of asbestos at the end of a job;
  • carrying out quality control work such as;
  • atmospheric monitoring outside enclosures while asbestos removal work is in progress; or 
  • checking that work has been carried out to a standard which meets the terms of the contract;
  • a consultant or other preparing the method statement; or
  • a consultant or other reviewing tender submissions on behalf of the client.

For ancillary work, a licence is needed for

  • setting up and taking down enclosures for the asbestos work
  • putting up and taking  down scaffolding to provide access for licensable work, where it is foreseeable that the scaffolding activity is likely to disturb the asbestos;
  • maintaining negative pressure units;
  • work done within an asbestos enclosure, such as sealing an electric motor in polythene and installing ducting to the motor to provide cooling air from outside the enclosure; and cleaning the structure, plant and equipment inside the enclosure. 

A licence holder is required to:

  • notify the work to the appropriate enforcing authority (Regulation 9)
  • ensure medical surveillance is carried out for their employees and themselves (Regulation 22)
  • maintaining health records for employees and themselves (Regulation 22)
  • prepare procedures in case of emergencies (Regulation 15(1)); and 
  • demarcate the work areas appropriately (Regulation 18(1) 

All licences issued for work with asbestos are granted by the HSE under the terms of this regulation. Fees are payable for issuing licences, reassessments and changes to licences. These fees are periodically updated by the Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations.

 

If licensable work is undertaken notification has to be given to the appropriate enforcing authority with details of the proposed work. This gives the enforcing authorities the opportunities to assess your proposals for carrying out work with asbestos and to inspect the site either before or during the work.

Notification will normally be required 14 days notice before work begins, but the enforcing authority may allow a shorter period, for example in an emergency where there is a serious risk to the health and safety of any person. This shorter period is know as a ‘waiver’ or dispensation. Each individual job must normally be notified to the enforcing authority. 

Form FOD ASB5 can be used for notification, available from the HSE website, local HSE offices or the Asbestos Licensing Unit.

The Control of Asbestos Regulations requires mandatory training and development for anyone liable to be exposed to asbestos fibres at work When work with asbestos or which may disturb asbestos is being carried out, the CAR 2012 require employers and the self-employed to prevent exposure to asbestos fibres. 

Where this is not reasonable practicable, they must make sure that exposure is kept as low reasonable practicable by measures other than the use of respiratory protective equipment (RPE). The spread of asbestos must be prevented. The Regulations specify the work methods and controls that should be used to prevent exposure and spread.

Worker exposure must be below the airborne exposure limit (Control Limit). The CAR 2012 have a single Control Limit for all types of asbestos of 0.1 fibres.  A Control Limit is a maximum concentration of asbestos fibres in the air (averaged over any continuous 4-hour period) that must not be exceeded. 

In addition, short term exposure must be strictly controlled and worker exposure should not exceed 0.6 fibres of air averaged over any continuous 10-minute period using RPE if exposure cannot be reduced sufficiently using other means.  

This includes maintenance workers and others who may come into contact with or who may disturb asbestos for example cable installers as well as those involved in asbestos removal activities.

There are three main types of information, instruction and training (simply referred to as training from now on) 

  1. Asbestos awareness training. This is for those persons who are liable to be exposed to asbestos while carrying out their normal everyday work. 
  2. Training for non-licensable asbestos work. This is for those who undertake work with asbestos which is not licensable such as a roofer removing a whole asbestos cement sheet in good condition.
  3. Training for licensable work with asbestos.- for those working with asbestos which is licensable, such as removing asbestos lagging or insulation board.

The regulations require mandatory training for anyone liable to be exposed to asbestos fibres at work (see Regulation 10) This includes maintenance workers and others who may come into contact with or who may disturb asbestos for example, cable installers as well as those involved in asbestos removal work.

Training must include detailed information on;

  • recognising asbestos
  • how asbestos can effect your health
  • the added dangers of smoking 
  • the uses and likely locations for asbestos in buildings
  • what work you are allowed to do by law
  • what the law requires you to do
  • procedures to protect yourself
  • what methods to use
  • what equipment you need to do the job properly 
  • how to choose, use and look after PPE
  • recognising and dealing with other dangers, such as work at height
  • decontamination of yourself and work areas
  • emergency procedures, and waste disposal

Refresher training is needed every year, or more often if;

  • work methods change
  • the type of equipment used changes; or 
  • the type of work changes a lot

Work which disturbs ACMs should only be carried out when there is no other reasonable practicable way of doing the work or the alternative method creates a more significant risk. Employers must therefore first decide whether they can prevent the exposure to asbestos sfairp, before considering how they will reduce the exposure to as low as reasonably practicable.

Where it is not reasonable practicable to prevent exposure, it must first be reduced to the lowest level reasonably by means other than the use of RPE.

Airborne levels should be reduced to as low a level as reasonably practicable and exposure should be controlled so that any peak exposure is less than 0.6fibre/cm averaged over a maximum continuous period of 10 minutes by the use of appropriate RPE if exposure cannot be reduced sufficiently by other means.

Employers must ensure that the number of employees exposed to asbestos is kept as low as reasonably practicable. All unnecessary personnel should be excluded from the working areas if asbestos is being disturbed.

The provision of a sufficient number of suitable viewing panels in enclosures will allow managers to monitor the work of their employees without being unnecessarily exposed

When it is reasonably practicable to prevent exposure to asbestos the employer must choose the most effective method, or combination of methods, which minimises fibre release and thereby reduces the exposure to the lowest levels reasonably practicable and document this in the written risk assessment/plan of work. 

 

Employers should have procedures in place to make sure that control measures are properly used  or applied and are not made less effective by other work practices or other machinery. 

These procedures should include;

  • checks at the start of every shift and at the end of each day; and
  • prompt action when a problem is identified

Within the general duties imposed by Regulation 12(2), employees should, in particular;

  • use any control measures, including RPE, and protective clothing properly and keep it in the places provided;
  • follow carefully all the procedures set out in the employer’s assessment and plan of work, including those for changing and decontamination, and comply with the use of control measures,;
  • keep the workplace clean;
  • eat, drink and smoke only in the places provided; and
  • report any defects concerning control measures to their supervisor/manager immediately. 

 

When working with asbestos, employers should make sure that maintenance procedures are drawn up for all control measures and for PPE. These should include the equipment used for cleaning., washing and changing facilities., and the controls to prevent the spread of contamination. 

The procedures should make clear;

  • which control measures require maintenance ;
  • when and how the maintenance is to be carried out; and
  • who is responsible for maintenance and for  making good any defects.

As part of the assessment, the employer must decide whether or not protective clothing is required for work with asbestos. The assessments should start from the assumption that protective clothing will be necessary unless exposures are extremely slight and infrequent. For work which requires a licence exposure will potentially be significant and employers will always need to provide a full set of PPE.

The protective clothing must be adequate and suitable and include footwear, whenever employees are liable to be exposed to a significant amount of asbestos debris or fibres. It should be appropriate and suitable for the job and must protect the parts of the body likely to be affected. 

If the assessment has concluded that a risk of contamination exists, disposable overalls (of a suitable standard fitted with a hood) and boots without laces will be required.

To be adequate and suitable and depending on the circumstances, the protective clothing must;

  • fit the wearer;
  • be of sufficient size to avoid straining and ripping the joints;
  • be comfortable and, where appropriate, to allow for the effects of physical strain;
  • be suitable for cold environments;
  • prevent penetration by asbestos fibres;
  • be elasticated at the cuffs and ankles and on the hoods of overalls and designed to ensure a close fit at the wrists, ankles, face and neck;
  • not have pockets or other attachments which could attract and trap asbestos dust; and be easily decontaminated or disposable 

Where disposable overalls are used, these should be of a suitable standard.

Non-disposable protective clothing and towels must be effectively washed after every shift. If the employer does not have the facilities and expertise for laundering asbestos-contaminated clothing. It must be sent to a specialist laundry. 

Where disposable overalls are used they should be treated as asbestos waste and properly disposed of after every shift. This may not be necessary for overalls used for occasional sampling where there is a low risk of contamination . When working in enclosures, clothing for washing should be collected from the airlock and hygiene facility as soon as it has been cleared.

Employers of people removing or repairing ACMs must have prepared procedures which can be put into effect should an accident, incident or emergency occur which could put people at risk because of the presence of asbestos unless, because of the quantity or the condition of the asbestos present at the workplace, there is only a slight risk to the health of employees.

Sufficient information should be made available to the emergency services, for example fire and rescue and paramedics so that when they are attending a relevant incident they can properly protect themselves against the risks from the asbestos.

In any circumstances where there is an accidental uncontrolled release of asbestos into the workplace then measures, including emergency procedures, should be in place to limit exposure and the risks to health. Such procedures should include means to raise the alarm and procedures for evacuation, which should be tested and practised at regular intervals. The cause of the uncontrolled release should be identified, and adequate control regained as soon as possible. 

Any people in the work area affected who are not wearing PPE including RPE must leave that area. Where such people have been contaminated with dust or debris then arrangements should be made to decontaminate those affected. Any clothing or PPE should be decontaminated or disposed of as contaminated waste.

Any plant or equipment which has been contaminated with asbestos should be thoroughly decontaminated before it is moved for use in other premises of for disposal.  The basic decontamination procedure must be followed every time a person leaves the work area.

Asbestos materials should never be left loose or in a state where they can be tramples, tracked over by plant and machinery or otherwise spread. All asbestos contaminated waste should be removed at regular intervals in appropriate waste containers. For non-licensable work where a risk of significant contamination exists, the work area should be enclosed.

A full enclosure will be expected where there is large-scale work, for example asbestos-containing textured decorative coatings removal. A mini-enclosure should be used where the work is minor. It should be assumed that for most of the work of the work which requires a license, which is not external/remote, a full enclosure will normally be required.

When work with asbestos comes to an end, the work area should be thoroughly cleaned before being handed over for reoccupation or demolition. All visible traces of asbestos dust and debris should be removed and a thorough visual inspection should be  should be carried out.  Where the work is licensable then the 4-stage clearance procedure which includes air sampling should be carried out and a certificate of reoccupation issued. 

Where licensed work is performed out of doors for example soffit removal, then air sampling will not be required. In this situation, the certificate of reoccupation should still be completed but without stage 3 (air monitoring). More information on clearance procedures for non-licensed work is given in Asbestos Essentials. 

To aid the process of cleaning and to prevent the spread of asbestos, employers must choose work methods and equipment to prevent the build-up of asbestos waste on floors and surfaces in the working area. Wherever practicable, waste should be transferred direct into waste bags as workers remove the asbestos materials. 

Employers must make sure that any asbestos dust and debris is cleaned up and removed regularly to prevent it accumulating and drying out where wet removal techniques have been used, and at least at the end of each shift. Procedures will need to take account of the necessity for cleaning following an accidental uncontrolled release of asbestos.

Procedures will need to be set up for cleaning;

  • working areas including transit and waste routes
  • plant and equipment ; and
  • hygiene facilities

Dustless methods of cleaning should be used including, wherever practicable, a type ‘H’ (BS 5415; 1986) vacuum cleaner with appropriate tools. Procedures for cleaning should make clear;

  • the items and areas to be cleaned 
  • how often may they need to be cleaned
  • the cleaning methods, which should not create dust and
  • any special precautions which need to be taken during cleaning, including measures to be taken to reduce the spread of dust. Dry manual brushing, or sweeping or compressed air, must not be used to remove asbestos dust.

Once removal of the asbestos has been completed, the premises must be assessed to determine whether they are thoroughly clean and hence fit to be returned to the client. It is important that this includes the premises where work with asbestos has taken place, and the surrounding areas which may have been contaminated. 

The areas required assessment for site clearance certification for reoccupation include;

  • the enclosed area including airlocks or the delineated work area where an enclosure has not been used
  • the immediate surrounding area (for enclosures this will include the outside of walls and underneath polythene floors; for delineated areas this will include surfaces nearby either where asbestos may have been spread or where the pre-cleaning was not done properly);
  • the transit route if one has been used; and the waste route and area around the wastes skip. 

All areas where licensable work is being undertaken should be demarcated and identified by suitable warning notices as asbestos areas. Any area where an employee may be exposed to asbestos to a level which may exceed a control limit, must be designated as a respirator zone. Respirator zones, whether enclosed or not, must be demarcated and identified by suitable warning notices. Notices that RPE must be worn are also necessary. Only employees who need to do so for their work can enter and remain in asbestos areas and respirator zones.

Only employees who are competent may enter respirator zones or supervise people working in respirator zones. To enter a respirator area, the instruction and training in accordance with Regulation 10. Employers should ensure the provision of suitable facilities for employees to eat and drink outside the working area and where appropriate as close as is reasonable practicable to the hygiene facilities. No one should eat, drink or smoke in the enclosure or work area, in the hygiene facilities or in any areas which have been marked as asbestos areas or respirator zones.

Employers should also ensure that toilet facilities are provided, if they are not provided elsewhere on the site. Where hygiene facilities are not being used, personnel should wash and decontaminate themselves whenever they leave an asbestos area or respirator zone.

Air monitoring may be required to protect the health of employees by determining or checking the concentrations of airborne asbestos to which they are exposed and to establish employee exposure records. This should be done at regular intervals for a representative range of jobs and work methods.

Air monitoring should always be done when there are any doubts about the effectiveness of the measures taken to reduce the concentration of asbestos in the air, for example, that engineering controls are working as they should to their design specification and do not need repair., and in particular, measures taken to reduce that concentration below the control limit or below a peak level measured over 10 minutes.

Monitoring will also be necessary to confirm that the RPE chosen will provide the appropriate degree of protection where the level of asbestos fibres in air exceeds, or is liable to exceed, the control limit or a peak level measured over 10 minutes of 0.6 fibre. 

Air monitoring will be appropriate unless:

  • exposures are known to be low and not likely to approach the control limit or a 10 minute peak of 0.6. 
  • the work is such that it complies with Regulation 3(2) and adequate information is available to enable appropriate protective equipment to be provided; or
  • the protective equipment equipment provided is of such a standard that no foreseeable measurement  could indicate a need for equipment of a higher standard.

If the employer decides that monitoring is not necessary then he or she should use other sources of information about the likely concentrations of asbestos in air, for instance the guidance issued by the HSE. Monitoring of employees exposure should be by personal sampling. Static sampling can be used to check that control measures are effective. Analysis must be undertaken using 1997 WHO recommended method.

Those engaged to carry our air measurements and employee exposure monitoring must demonstrate that they conform with specified requirements in ISO 17025 through accreditation with a recognised accreditation body. Employers carrying out their own air measurements or employees carrying out this work receive similar standards of training, supervision and quality control to those required by ISO 17025.

Those engaged to carry out site clearance certification for reoccupation must demonstrate that they conform with specified requirements in ISO 17020 and ISO 17025 through accreditation with a recognised accreditation body. Those engaged to analyse samples of material to determine whether or not they contain asbestos must demonstrate that they conform with ISO 17025 by accreditation with a recognised body. 

Employers carrying out their own analysis of samples should make sure that employees carrying out this work receive similar standards of training, supervision and quality control of those required by ISO 17025. The UKAS is currently the sole recognised accreditation body in Great Britain. 

The employer must keep a health record for any employee who undertakes licensable work. The health record must be kept for 40 years in a safe place and should contain at least the following information.

  • the individual’s surname, forenames, sex, date of birth, permanent address, postcode and national insurance number;
  • a record of the types of work carried out with asbestos and, where relevant, its location, with start dates and end dates, with the average duration of exposure in hours per week, exposure levels and details of any RPE used;
  • a record of any work with asbestos prior to this employment of which the employer has been informed and dates of the medical examinations.

Anyone who undertakes licensable work must have been medically examined within the previous 2 years. Employers will need to obtain certificates of examination for any employees who state that they have been examined under these Regulations within the previous 2 years and keep them for 4 years from the date of issue. 

Employers should check with the previous employer or with the examining doctor that the certificates are genuine. For work with asbestos that is not licensable and is not exempt by Regulation 3 (2) a medical examination must be carried out before 30 April 2015 and after this date not more than 3 years before exposure and at least every 3 years thereafter while such exposure continues (more frequently if the relevant doctor requires it). 

For work with asbestos that is not licensable and is not exempt by Regulation 3(2) a medical examination must be carried out before 30 April 2015 and after this date not more than 3 years before exposure and at lease every 3 years thereafter while such exposure continues (more frequently if the relevant doctor requires it)

Medical examinations should take place during the employee’s normal working hours and be paid for by the employer regarding attendance for medical examinations. Where an employee is diagnosed with a condition related to exposure to asbestos then the employer must review the health of all other current employees similarly exposed, as well as reviewing his/her assessment and methods of work. 

If the examination is diagnosed with a condition related to exposure to asbestos then the employer must review the health of all other current employees similarly exposed, as well as reviewing his/her assessment and methods of work. If the examination reveals the presence of any potentially limiting health conditions then a decision should be reached on whether a general fitness assessment is required in addition to the asbestos medical examination.

The type and extent of washing and changing facilities provided should be determined by the type and amount of exposure as indicated by the risk assessment.  If the work is licensable separate facilities should be provided for the workers working with asbestos. Employers must ensure that adequate changing and showering facilities are provided so that employees can clean and decontaminate themselves completely each time they leave the work area. 

This includes providing shampoo, soap or gel and towels. The provision of suitable hygiene facilities (also known as a decontamination unit, (DCU), should be on site and fully operational before any work (including ancillary work) commences. Maintenance records for DCUs or copies of them should be kept on site.

The hygiene facility should not leave the site until the job is complete and the certificate of reoccupation has been issued. The hygiene facility enables the employer to further comply with their duties to prevent the spread of asbestos and reduce the potential exposure of asbestos and reduce the potential exposure of employees and other people to as low as reasonably practicable. These facilities will need to;

  • have separate changing rooms for dirty, contaminated work clothing and for clean or personal clothing known as ‘dirty’ and ‘clean’  areas respectively. The showers should be located between the two changing rooms so that it is necessary to pass through them when going from one changing facility to the other. All doors between each room and those leading to the outside from the ‘dirty end’ should be self-closing and provide an airtight seal. The ‘clean’ and ‘dirty’ ends should be fitted with adequate seating and be of sufficient size for changing purposes;
  • be designed so that they can be cleaned easily;
  • be fitted with air extraction equipment which keeps a flow of air from the clean to the dirty areas. The extracted air should be discharged through a HEPA filter;
  • be adequately heated, lit for example, light switches at both the ‘clean’ and ‘dirty’ ends) and have internal vents so that air can pass through the unit;
  • be of sufficient size, including allowance for sufficient and separate storage for personal clothing and protective clothing and equipment in the ‘clean’ end and sufficient receptacles for contaminated clothing, towels, filters and so on in the ‘dirty’ end and shower area;
  • have adequate supply of clean running hot and cold or warm water, at a suitable pressure, in the showers, and soap or gel, shampoo, nailbrushes and individual dry towels. If gas heating is provided and the heater is mounted inside the unit, it must be a room-sealed type, and not open-flued. Waste water should be filtered before being discharged to the drains. All filters should be treated as asbestos waste;
  • have shower areas of sufficient size to allow thorough decontamination and to have means to support the power pack of a full face respirator while it is still required to be worn (the power pack support should be out of the direct line of the shower to avoid contact with water and prevent damage to the batteries);
  • have a wall-mounted mirror in the clean end of the unit; and
  • have the electricity supply enter it via 30mA residual current circuit braker fitted at the point of entry into the unit, and the unit must be effectively earthed when in use.

Waste should be placed in suitable, labelled containers as it is produced. Where practicable, containers should be sealed and the outside should be cleaned before removal from enclosures or the work area, and they should be taken to a suitable  and clearly identified secure storage area if they are not being disposed of at once.

Any friable waste should be placed in UN-approved packaging (available in up to 2 tonnes capacity). The Licensed Contractors Guide provides further advice Containers must be designed, constructed and maintained to prevent any of the contents escaping during normal handling. For most waste, double plastic sacks are suitable provided they will not split during normal use. 

It is important that the inner bag is not overfilled, especially when the debris is wet, and each bag should be capable of being securely tied or sealed. Air should be excluded from the bag as far as possible before sealing. Precautions will need to be taken  as the exhaust air may be contaminated. Stronger packages are necessary  if the waste contains sharp metal fragments or other materials liable to puncture plastic sacks. 

Bags containing asbestos waste should be appropriately labelled and transported to a licensed disposal site in an enclosed vehicle, skip or freight container. The specific requirements of various Hazardous Waste Regulations in England and Wales and the Special Waste Regulations in Scotland should be adhered to, as appropriate. 

Asbestos waste must be labeled;

  • in accordance with the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2004 where those Regulations apply; 
  • where the Regulations in (a) do not apply, in accordance with Schedule 2 of the Asbestos Regulations 2006.

Asbestos in Homes

All you need to know about asbestos in homes in the United Kingdom. Current UK legislation does not make any legal requirements of domestic homeowners.

Asbestos Surveys

We are able to provide any level of survey required, up to the Demolition and Refurbishment survey now required prior to the demolition of any building or structure.

What is a Pre-Demolition Survey

When a building is to be demolished the (non-domestic) client ( usually the property owner) has a duty to provide pre-demolition information to the designer

Refurbishment Survey

A refurbishment survey / demolition survey is needed before any planned refurbishment or demolition work is carried out. This type of survey is used to locate and describe, as far as reasonable practicable

Asbestos Removal

Total Group perform safe and comprehensive asbestos removal work nationwide and have worked on some of the largest asbestos removal projects ever undertaken in the United Kingdom. 

Types of Asbestos

Asbestos has been included in many materials in the last 150 years.  Three common types of asbestos can be found in buildings: Crocidolite (Blue Asbestos), Amosite (Brown Asbestos), Chrysotile (White Asbestos)

Managing Asbestos

The strategy of the HSE is to ensure that those involved in the repair, removal or disturbance of asbestos containing materials (ACMs), such as insulation coatings or insulation boards, are licensed & competent 

What is Asbestos ?

Asbestos was commonly used as a construction material in the UK between the 1950s and 1980s in particular. If your home was built between these years, chances are that you are living with Asbestos

Control Of Asbestos Regulations 2012

Most work with asbestos need to be carried out by a licensed contractor. This includes work in asbestos insulation or asbestos lagging; and work on asbestos insulation board (AIB)

Asbestos In The Workplace

Total Group are a leading civil construction and civil engineering contractors with over 45 years’ expertise in delivering  high-quality, innovative and cost-effective civil engineering projects across a wide variety of sectors. 

Brownfield Land Remediation

We have tackled some of the most complex remediation projects undertaken in the United Kingdom, surpassing industry standards. Our diverse range of experience and expertise sets us apart and we continually deliver to the highest standards

Asbestos Consultancy

The challenge with many old structures is that they may contain asbestos. Over time asbestos poses a health risk and you need to be careful when handling it. Asbestos removal is best left to professionals. 

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