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					A16    Health & Safety Arrangements: Asbestos

Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral fibre which has been used in a wide range of
building materials for many years. The presence of asbestos does not present a danger
unless the fibres are released into the air. Asbestos fibres, if inhaled, can cause
asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer. These illnesses can appear many years
after the exposure. There are currently 4000 asbestos-related deaths annually in the
UK, and this figure is expected to continue rising for another 5-10 years.

The use and supply of asbestos was banned in the UK1999. However, there is a
continued risk of exposure, through damage or disturbance to asbestos already in
buildings, particularly during refurbishment, demolition, electrical, plumbing and IT
ducting works in any pre-2000 building. The risk of exposure depends upon the
location, type and condition of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) and the nature
and duration of the disturbance.

16.1   In order to comply with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006, the College

16.1.1 Compile and maintain a register of asbestos-containing materials in accessible
       parts of all College premises, based on a type 2 asbestos survey.

16.1.2 Commission further surveys/testing (type 3 survey) as necessary prior to
       building/demolition work on pre-2000 buildings.

16.1.3 Treat any material as an ACM unless there is strong evidence that it is not.

16.1.4 Prepare an asbestos management plan to minimise the risks. Asbestos will be
       managed by:
    Removal, using approved methods, of ACMs in a hazardous condition, and of
       other ACMs when the opportunity arises through refurbishment/major works;
    Encapsulation or sealing of remaining ACMs which would otherwise be at
       risk of damage or disturbance;
    Labelling of ACMs where this is possible;
    Monitoring of the condition of all accessible ACMs.

16.1.5 Draw the contents of the asbestos register to the attention of any person
       carrying out activities which might cause damage or disturbance to ACMs.

16.1.6 Provide asbestos awareness training to such College staff as are likely to carry
       out minor works.

16.1.7 Operate a Permit-to-Work system for any work which will cause damage or
       disturbance to ACMs.

16.1.8 Ensure that licensed contractors are used for any licensable work involving
       higher-risk ACMs (as defined in section 16.2 below)

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16.1.9 Ensure that non-licensable works involving lower-risk ACMs (as defined in
       appendix) are carried out by competent persons following HSE-approved

16.1.10 Have in place a plan for dealing with the accidental release of asbestos fibres.

16.2   Licensable and non-licensable asbestos work

16.2.1 The following types of work with asbestos must be carried out by licensed
       contractors after notification to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE):

      work on asbestos insulation, asbestos coating or asbestos insulating board
       (AIB) unless the exposure of employees to asbestos fibres is sporadic and of
       low intensity

16.2.2 The following types of work with asbestos are non-licensable and may be
       carried out by trained and competent persons following HSE guidance:

      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 one hour in a seven-day period. The
       total time spent by all workers on the work should not exceed a total of two

      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 (eg vinyl floor tiles, electric cables, roofing
       felt) and other insulation products which may be used at high temperatures but
       have no insulation purposes, for example gaskets, washers, ropes and seals.

      encapsulation or sealing of asbestos-containing materials 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.

16.3   Procedures for dealing with suspected accidental release of asbestos fibres

16.3.1 Evacuate all occupants from area

16.3.2 Alert Estates Manager and College Safety Officer

16.3.3 The Estates Manager will assess the situation and arrange for the affected area
       to be sealed off using hazard tape and polythene sheeting.

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16.3.4 If the circumstances of the release indicate that there may be airborne fibres,
       Estates Manager will arrange for air sampling to be undertaken by a specialist
       contractor. This step may not be necessary if the incident involved only limited
       damage to a highly-bonded ACM such as thermoplastic tiles.

16.3.5 The Estates Manager will arrange for decontamination to be undertaken by an
       approved asbestos removal contractor.

16.3.6 The area will remain closed until remedial works have been completed. If air
       sampling was undertaken a certificate of reoccupation must be obtained.

16.3.7 The Health & Safety Officer will determine persons exposed during the
       incident, whether any personal protective equipment was worn and the
       duration of exposure and will consult with Occupational Health to obtain an
       estimate of the likely exposure levels.

16.3.8 If the estimated exposure levels exceed the legal action level, a record of the
       exposure will be placed on any exposed employee’s personnel file and
       retained indefinitely. A copy of this record will be sent to the employee.

16.3.9 The circumstances of the release will be investigated and the asbestos register,
       management plan and procedures revised as necessary.

16.4   Management responsibilities

Health & Safety Officer:       Ensures that resources are made available to manage
                               asbestos in the workplace.
                               Manages communications with individuals and agencies
                               in the event of any accidental release of asbestos fibres.

Estates Manager:               Manages the College asbestos register
                               Manages all works identified in the asbestos
                               management plan
                               Ensures that remaining accessible asbestos is monitored
                               annually and remedial actions are planned as necessary
                               Controls all work with ACMs through a permit-to-work
                               Ensures that licensed contractors are engaged for
                               licensable activities
                               Ensures that non-licensable work is carried out by
                               trained and competent persons, following methods
                               recommended by HSE
                               Ensures that all persons carrying out work where there
                               is an incidental risk of asbestos exposure are made
                               aware of the contents of the register.
                               Ensures that all members of the Estates team have
                               asbestos awareness training

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Estates staff                  Check the asbestos register prior to any activities which
                               have the potential to damage or disturb ACMs
                               Only carry out non-licensable work on ACMs if trained
                               and using HSE-approved methods.

Further Information:

College asbestos register – available from Estates office

HSE general information about asbestos

HSE asbestos essentials – task sheets for non-licensed work

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