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
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
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
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
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
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.
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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