As trailed on an earlier post, the free Asbestos - Still out there - still a Killer event put on as part of Working Well Together took place on 30th April. The event was well attended and stressed just how much of an issue asbestos still is - with it appearing occasionally in products imported to the UK even now(!), and with an estimated 5000 deaths a year in the UK from related diseases. Key messages included:
anyone undertaking notifiable non-licensed work is required to have health monitoring;
if you are responsible for commercial premises, a reminder of your duty to manage asbestos, including:
take reasonable steps to find out if there are materials containing asbestos in non-domestic premises, and if so, its amount, where it is and what condition it is in.
make, and keep up-to-date, a record of the location and condition 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 identified.
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 action.
periodically review and monitor the plan and the arrangements to act on it so that the plan remains relevant and up-to-date.
provide information on the location and condition of the materials to anyone who is liable to work on or disturb them.
If you undertake construction or premises maintenance works on pre-2000 buildings you need:
to ensure your workers have had the appropriate training, and that this is refreshed annually (see our Asbestos Awareness online training which is aimed at those who are not expected to actually work on asbestos containing materials but is to make them aware of the risks and help them spot such materials).
ensure the appropriate level of Pre Construction Information is available for the works you are undertaken e.g. Refurbishment Survey covering the work area and that this is up-to-date before starting works.
Where licensed removal works will be required, ensure that sufficient time is allowed for this in the project timeline as there is a minimum 14 day notice period to the HSE before such works start.
to have emergency procedures in place in case you accidentally disturb asbestos, and remember to report any such disturbances as Dangerous Occurrences under RIDDOR. You should also keep records indefinitely of anyone who may have been exposed to fibres.
If you need advice on any of the above, please don’t hesitate to contact us.