ASBESTOS AWARENESS TRAINING COURSE NOTES
WHAT IS ASBESTOS?
Unconsummable, and is a collective term for a group of about 30 types of materials based on
Magnesium Silicate, mixed with other metals, which over millions of years have crystallised
under the influence of volcanic explosion.
There are two categories of asbestos.
1. Serpentine - Chrysotile (White)
2. Amphiboles - Actinolite
Asbestos was mined in Australia, America, Canada, USSR, South Africa and many other
Its main uses were -
Insulating Boards 16 - 25%
Ceiling Tiles 80%
Textured Finishes 90%
Thermal Insulation 55 - 85%
Joints / Gaskets 25 - 85%
Brake & Clutch Lining 30 - 70%
Cement Sheets & Pipes 10 - 30%
WHY WAS IT USED?
It was used because:
1. It was resistant to heat.
2. It had low heat conductivity.
3. It had high electrical resistance.
4. It was inert to chemicals.
WHAT ARE THE MEDICAL EFFECTS OF EXPOSURE?
Asbestos is a Fibrous Material, and as such dust can, and often is, given off during various
processes, and when it is friable. As a dust, providing it is of a respirable size, it can be inhaled into
The body’s natural defences cannot dispose of the dust and it can become permanently embedded
in the lungs. The effects of which are irreversible and can be fatal.
Long-term effects can appear after exposure and may not be evident until some 10-15 years later
and often longer.
These are commonly known as:
* See Appendix 1.
WHAT IS THE LEVEL OF EXPOSURE TO ASBESTOS?
The Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR 2006) have reduced the control limits to a single
level for all asbestos types so the new control limits for asbestos are:
0.1 f/ml averaged over any continuous 4-hour period for all asbestos types.
Action levels were a means to evaluating exposure levels and were based over a 12-week
exposure period and expressed as fibre hours/ml. The action levels were also used to when
making decisions on weather work was subject to notification to the HSE under the asbestos
The action levels have now been abolished and all work is now evaluated by risk assessment
and comes under the definition “Sporadic and Low Intensity”.
SPORADIC AND LOW INTENSITY EXPOSURE
No exposure to asbestos will be sporadic and of low intensity within the meaning of Regulation 3
if the concentration asbestos in the air exceeds or is liable to exceed 0.6 fibres per cm3 in the air
measured over a ten-minute period. Work which is likely to result in exposures at or above this
level cannot be considered to produce sporadic and low intensity exposure, and therefore
the exemptions provided by Regulation 3(2) will not apply.
When work with materials meets the definition of sporadic and low intensity worker exposure
then the exemption as provided by regulation 3(2) will apply, but only if it is clear from a suitable
and sufficient risk assessment that the control limit of 0.1 f/cm3 airborne fibres averaged over a
4 hour period will not be exceeded:
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 0.6fibres per cm³ averaged over a
maximum continuous period of 10 minutes by the use of appropriate RPE if exposure can not be
reduced sufficiently by other means.
Any work, which is likely to exceed the control limit of 0.1 f/cm3 airborne fibres averaged over a
4-hour period or a peak exposure of 0.6fibres per cm³ averaged over a maximum continuous
period of 10 minutes the exemptions provided by Regulation 3(2) will not apply but other
Regulation will apply.
Determining Whether An Asbestos Licence Is Required
Will the exposure of the employees Asbestos Licence
undertaking the job be sporadic is required
and low intensity?
Is it clear from the risk NO
assessment that the exposure of Asbestos Licence
any employees to asbestos will not exceed the is required
control limit of 0.1 f/ml of air when
averaged over a continous
period of 4 hours
Is the proposed work
required a short non - continous
YES Does the job involve the
required removal of materials in which
asbestos fibres are firmly
fixed in a matrix?
Licence not Does the job involve
required the encapsulation or sealing
of asbestos containing materials
that are in a good condition?
YES Does the job involve NO
Licence not air monitoring and control or the Asbestos Licence
required collection and analysis of samples to is required
ascertain whether a specific material
IDENTIFICATION OF ASBESTOS
The Control of Asbestos Regulation 2006 (CAR) requires contractors prior to any work being
undertaken to establish what the contents are, by either:
1. Representative sampling and analysis of the material.
2. Reference to plans or records showing what type of asbestos was used, or the type of
3. Use of information from the supplier of the material.
Where for any reason the above is impracticable, it must always be assumed that the material is not
ASSESSMENT OF WORK
Every employer who is liable to expose his employees to asbestos must make an adequate and
suitable assessment of that exposure. The assessment should include, but not be limited to -
• The location of the contract.
• Exact location on the site.
• The type of Asbestos.
• The number of employees
• The anticipated exposure level
• Start date and completion date
• Size of the enclosure and type of polythene to be used.
• The method proposed to reduce exposure to the lowest reasonably practicable level
• Use of dust suppressant.
• The size and number of air movers.
• The number of air changes
• The type of vacuum equipment to be used.
• The quantity of waste and size of skip required.
• The location of the skip.
• The location of the Decontamination Unit.
• The route for decontamination.
• The number of samples taken.
• The name of the Waste Disposal Contractor.
• The location of the waste disposal tip.
• Name of Environmental Agency.
These assessments should be reviewed at regular intervals, or if the assessment is no longer
valid, or if there is significant changes to which the assessment relates.
PLANS OF WORK
Prior to work commencing on any building, structure, plant or installation, or from a ship
(including it’s demolition), it is necessary to prepare a plan of work detailing how the work will be
carried out, and keep the plan until the work is at least completed.
The plan should include:
• Scope of Work.
• Hygiene Facilities.
• Waste Disposal.
• Enclosure of Work.
• Control Measures.
• Method of Work.
• Entry and Decontamination procedures.
• Air Monitoring.
• Final Clearance.
• Emergency Procedures.
• Site documentation
• Other Matters.
To be adequate, the assessment should be in writing, unless the work is straightforward, or is
NOTIFICATION OF WORK WITH ASBESTOS
Employers are required to notify the enforcing authority of any work that is not likely to be
sporadic and low intensity.
If it is clear from the risk assessment that the exposure of any employee to asbestos will not
exceed the control limit of 0.1f/ml of air when averaged over a continuous 4 hour period then a
license is not required
The notification required is a minimum of 14 days, unless the enforcing authority will accept less
notice (usually only for emergencies).
Work with Asbestos Insulation Board having a density greater than 500 kg per cubic metre and
where the work will expose the employee to levels of dust in excess of the control limit falls
within the normal procedure for notification.
If work ceases prior to the original date notified or there is material change in the work, which
differs from that originally notified the enforcing authority must be informed.
It is pre-requisite that prior to commencing any work involving asbestos employers ensure
supervisors and employees receive adequate information / instruction and training.
Typical subjects to be included are:
A. Health Hazards to employees and their families.
B. How controls, PPE and work methods reduce risks.
C. The increased risk of lung cancer for workers who smoke.
D. The assessment of exposure and the reason for air monitoring.
E. The control limits and action levels.
F. The use of control measures to reduce fibres inside & outside the work area.
G. The maintenance of control measures.
H. The correct selection of RPE & PPE
I. Procedures for reporting and correcting defects.
J. Correct work methods.
K. Hygiene procedures.
L. Emergency procedures.
M. Waste disposal.
N. The role of the medical adviser.
PREVENTION OR REDUCTION OF EXPOSURE
Where it is not reasonably practicable to prevent exposure to asbestos, the levels exposed
should be reduced to the lowest reasonably practicable level by measures other than RPE.
Where possible the use of asbestos should be eliminated in manufacturing by using a suitable
substitute. Legislation is now in place to prohibit the importation of all types of Asbestos.
However, old asbestos products and insulation are still in existence, and it is with these that we
become primarily concerned, especially as they are being removed.
REMOVAL OF ASBESTOS
We have several methods available to look at which will assist in reducing dust levels given off.
Those methods include but are not limited to -
Injection using Proprietary Agents (Wet Stripping)
Proprietary agents are either decanted into the machine or a suitable mixing receptacle, or are
fed directly into the machine by drip tube, which automatically draws the proprietary agents into
the machine for mixing. There are two types of system currently in use, which are the multi-
head system and a single injection system. Past practice has shown that this is the safest
method of Asbestos removal from areas where injection can be carried out. Dust levels of less
than 1 f/ml. of air are not uncommon; however, this depends greatly upon the proprietary agent,
and time to allow the agent to soak in to the material. Premature removal can, and often does,
result in higher figures of dust being produced.
Spray Application using Surfactants.
Where it is impracticable to use the injection technique due to the nature of the material being
removed, it may be possible to use a portable or other type of spray, in conjunction with sprayed
or painted surfaces, which will allow the agent to “soak” into the product. Once applied it is
essential that the material is not disturbed until the surfactant has had time to absorb into the
material. It may be necessary to apply more than one coat of the surfactant. The
disadvantages of using surfactants are that they are applied to the outer coat. In numerous
cases, the outer surface has been coated with a material, which may repel the surfactant (i.e.
gloss and other types of paint). In such cases, if it is possible to get to the inner surface, without
breaking the material, the surfactant may be applied from the rear. (i.e. ceiling tiles on a
Shadow Vacuuming (local Exhaust Ventilation)
In many cases, it is not possible to suppress the dust by proprietary agents or surfactants. In
such cases and where practicable an “H” type vacuum cleaner fitted with high efficiency filters
and current test certificates can be used to remove the dust as it is created, i.e. when extracting
screws. As the screw is being withdrawn, the nozzle of the vacuum cleaner is held below or
adjacent to the screw, thereby removing as much dust as is reasonably practicable.
Asbebag (Glove Bag)
The Asbebag is a specially designed polythene bag fitted with a zip to allow it to be secured
over pipes and flanges. The bag has two long plastic gloves and an opening for a garden spray
nozzle. The bag is secured onto the pipework etc., by tie straps and all the work is carried on
inside the bag. It is ideal for wrap and cut type situations where the pipework is being removed.
The use of a garden spray filled with proprietary agent assists in wetting the ends of the
insulation to allow the dust to be reduced when the bag is eventually removed.
Disadvantages are that the bag is made from polythene and quite often insulation was held on
with wire or wire netting, which can puncture the bag.
The vacuum transfer system is a system, which is used by specialist contractors in the power
generation industry where it is common practice to have to remove large quantities of dust. In
such cases, the vacuum transfer system can be utilised.
The system is similar to an over sized vacuum cleaner, which is fitted with a hopper as an
alternative to a bag. It is common practice to locate the hopper away from the work area. The
feed from the work area usually consists of large diameter pipe work, which is secured together
in sections of approximately 4 m. This can then be fitted with branches to allow a variety of
appliances including cleaning heads and a crushing plant.
The disadvantages are that the hoses sometimes become blocked and they must always be
sealed after use as they are contaminated.
Air Management System
Air management systems can be used in a variety of cases however; they should always be
used where it is necessary to adopt the dry stripping technique. The system consists of a
blower and an extraction unit, which are used to draw the flow of air across an enclosure or work
area. This can assist in reducing dust levels to employees working within the enclosure.
It is common practice to fit flexible hoses to the blower and extraction unit to enable the system
to be used any where within the enclosure. Some systems can be fitted with a cooler on the
inlet to the blower, thereby assisting in reducing the temperature where the operative is working,
or alternatively within the enclosure. Used correctly the system can be effective.
The disadvantages to the system are that if an interlink device which monitors the air pressure
within the enclosure is not used a positive pressure can result. Additionally the system relies on
the employee moving the flexible hoses manually.
As suggested by the title, this method of removal does not include the use of proprietary agents
or surfactants, and therefore is likely to produce high levels of dust, which, may if not controlled
properly, exceed the in-service protection provided by the RPE.
There are only two situations where the HSE would allow this technique to be adopted.
These are where heat is involved, or live electricity is involved. In both situations, it is
essential that every effort is made by the client to remove such situation. Heat can cause
heat stress, high levels of humidity and severely effect the filtration of the RPE.
Electricity can have fatal consequences if people are exposed.
Where dry stripping is to be adopted the contractor must be prepared to explain in his Plan of
Work why the heat or electricity be cannot isolated. It is therefore essential that the client has
made every effort to remove such hazardous situations.
Where such situations continue to persist, an air management system must be adopted to keep
dust levels, as low as is reasonably practicable, and a regime of personal monitoring must be
In areas of high heat loss, some fibre suppressant products will not work efficiently and in some
cases possibly contribute to more hazardous conditions in relation to humidity.
PLANT & EQUIPMENT
Plant and equipment such as Extraction Units, Vacuum Cleaners and Extraction Units in
Decontamination Units require to be inspected and examined by a competent person, who is
usually from a specialist contractor, at 6 monthly intervals or if there are any major alterations to
i.e. The main filter is removed and replaced on an Extraction Unit.
In addition to the 6 monthly inspection, a nominated person, who is capable of carrying out a
basic inspection and recording details, should undertake weekly inspections on site. In addition
to the weekly tests, electrical tests on all plant and equipment should take place in accordance
with current statutory requirements. Where gauges or dials are fitted they should be checked on
a daily basis to ensure they are operational.
All equipment should be fitted with High Efficiency “H” Type Filtration.
Designated areas are normally separated into two distinct areas.
a. Asbestos Area
An Asbestos Area is where the exposure to an employee who works in that area for the whole of
his working time would exceed or is liable to exceed the Action Level.
b. Respirator Zone
A Respirator Zone is where the concentration of asbestos in that area would exceed or is likely
to exceed the Control Limit.
These areas are required to be adequately marked and separately demarcated by notices
indicating that the area is an ‘Asbestos Area’ or ‘Respirator Zone’ or both as the case may be.
Additional signs such as “No unauthorised persons beyond this point” and “Danger Asbestos
Removal in Progress” may also be erected.
Any employee who enters the Respirator Zone is liable to exceed the Control Limit. RPE must
No person is allowed to eat, drink or smoke in any of the areas.
Employers should take steps to carry our monitoring where employees are exposed to asbestos.
Air monitoring takes place in the following circumstances:
a. Ambient Levels. (Before any work commence)
b. Personal Samples. (During work)
c. Background or reassurance sampling. (Whilst work is in progress)
d. Clearance sampling. (After stripping is completed)
e. Reassurance. (After the enclosure is removed)
In some circumstances it is necessary to measure the airborne dust levels prior to work
commencing. This is usually decided at the assessment stage and often where there are
obvious signs of dust in the surrounding area.
Ambient samples can also be used to set the levels for background monitoring and clearance
level indicators. Ambient levels are normally less than 0.01f/ml of air.
Personal samples taken in the work area on employees can help the employer to compile
records of exposures. These can assist in future work when making assessments of anticipated
exposure levels. The most important reason for personal sampling is so the employer can prove
that he has reduced, to the lowest level reasonably practicable, the exposure of his employees
to asbestos. Personal samples should be less than 8 f/ml of air.
Background samples are used to measure the ambient level outside and around the enclosure.
This type of sampling is often referred to as Leakage sampling. The analyst is measuring levels
against the ambient and any increase upon the ambient would indicate a leak from within the
enclosure. Alternatively it could indicate that the Negative Pressure Unit (NPU) has developed a
leak or a fault. It is advisable to carry out random samples near to the discharge of the NPU to
monitor for leakage.
The anticipated level for background levels should be the same as the ambient i.e. less than
0.01 f/ml of air. Any increase above this figure should automatically require the contractor to
stop work and smoke test/establish the source of the leak, and then repair.
The analyst takes clearance samples after he/she has carried out a visual inspection of the work
area and in their opinion the area is clean. The analyst must carry out these samples by
conducting a disturbance of the air, using either a sweeping brush or a clipboard. There are set
procedures that the analyst must follow for clearance samples. Only trained analysts are
allowed to take these samples and identify the fibres.
It is common practice for the NPU to be turned off prior to sampling. Upon completion of the
procedure, and a satisfactory air test, the enclosure can be coated with a PVA (Poly Vinyl
Acetate) solution, which is water mixable. Clearance levels should be less than 0.01 f/ml of air.
Reassurance samples are often required by clients to ensure that when the enclosure has been
dismantled and removed there is no remaining contamination. These samples are usually taken
by an analyst within the area where the enclosure had been erected. Anticipated levels should
be the same as the ambient levels i.e. less than 0.01 f/ml of air.
Records for personal exposures should be maintained for at least 40 years in other cases a
minimum of 5 years.
Companies carrying out analytical work should conform to EN 45001. The UK equivalent is
UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service). Employers who use their own employees should
ensure that they comply with the similar standard of training, supervision and quality control to
those required by UKAS, and that they participate in the RICE Scheme (Regular Interlaboratory
Counting Exchange Scheme). Analysts should be independent from the company carrying out
the asbestos removal.
WASHING AND CHANGING FACILITIES
Where employees are exposed to asbestos the employer must provide adequate and suitable
washing and changing facilities. Where PPE is provided, facilities for the storage of PPE and
Personal Clothing not worn during working hours must be available. The employer must also
provide facilities for storage of RPE.
The facilities for work clothing shall be separate from those provided for Personal Clothing.
Where wash-hand basins are inadequate, shower facilities must also be provided.
In most cases a decontamination until will be used, especially for works away from the
premises. In such cases the unit will be in three areas ie:
a. Clean end - for storage of Personal Clothes and for drying and changing.
b. Shower Area
C. Dirty end - for removal of contaminated clothing and storage of transit equipment.
Where possible the decontamination unit (DCU) should be located adjacent to the work area.
More often than not this is impracticable, and therefore it is sited at a convenient location and
the transit procedure is followed.
The unit must be kept clean and the extraction unit must be inspected at weekly intervals by a
nominated person and at 6 monthly intervals by a competent person. The unit must be fitted
with heating and ventilation and hot and cold running water. The employer should provide soap,
shampoo, nailbrushes and dry towels.
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)
Within the Asbestos Removal Industry the COSHH Regulations apply to some of the products in
use and therefore assessments, which are suitable and sufficient, must be made. This section
discusses the chemicals used and in no form constitutes a COSHH assessment.
Spray Tac glue or a similar substitute is used to adhere the polythene to surfaces and other
polythene. This material contains a solvent which when used in confined areas can affect some
of the employees. The substances used as solvents vary according to manufacturers and will
mostly be assigned on Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL).
Most operatives, who have used spray tac glue have used it in confined areas when erecting
enclosures and have felt sick, dizzy or nauseated. This indicates that their exposure has been in
access of the levels indicated in the HSE document EH40.
As a matter of interest, the manufacturers advise that the product should not be used in confined
spaces. A confined space can constitute somewhere where there is a lack of natural ventilation
(i.e. an enclosure in the final stages of construction). The employer’s duty is to reduce to the
lowest level practicable, the exposure to chemicals of his employees.
This can be rather difficult in such situations, as the glue is used to seal the enclosure to the
surrounding surfaces and the introduction of extraction would not allow this process to work
adequately. Bearing this in mind, the only method remaining is to use a rubber half mask fitted
with appropriate filters to remove the contaminants where applicable.
The masks provided for such use fall within the requirements of the COSHH regulations and
therefore must be inspected by a competent person at least monthly. Equally important is the
need to train the employees to fit and test the masks prior to each use.
Another material, which falls under the COSHH regulations, is foam. This is normally used to fill
in holes around pipework and other areas, and usage is kept to a minimum. The foam is usually
dispensed from the canister by a dispensing tube. Foam contains Isocyanate, which is a
respiratory sensitiser and can in certain conditions sensitise people to asthma. Once sensitised,
the smallest amount of Isocyanate exposure can result in an asthma attack. Industrial asthma is
also notifiable to the HSE under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrence
Therefore employers must carry out suitable and sufficient risk assessments to ensure that
exposure to employees are kept to as low a level as reasonably practicable.
In the asbestos removal industry employers must carry out COSHH assessments on any
material assigned on Occupational Exposure Limit, Occupational Exposure Standard, Maximum
Exposure Limit or anything which is classed as toxic, slightly toxic, harmful, irritant, corrosive,
mutagenic or taratogenic.
The latter two do not affect this industry; however, these are some materials, which fall into the
Examples of materials, which can contain asbestos, are as below. This list must only be used
for guidance and prior to work commencing the employer must ensure he is aware of the
contents of the material.
ASBESTOS MATERIALS USED IN BUILDINGS
Asbestos product Use Asbestos content Remarks
Sprayed asbestos Thermal and Sprayed coatings Potential for fibre release
coatings acoustic insulation. contain up to 85% unless sealed.
Asbestos lagging Thermal insulation All types of Friability depends on the
of pipes boilers etc. asbestos have been nature of the lagging.
used. Potential for fibre release
Insulating boards Fire protection, Crocidolite used Likely to cause a dust
thermal and acoustic for some boards up hazard if very friable,
insulation. to 1965. broken, abraded, sawn or
Insulating board Acoustic cladding Crocidolite used Likely to cause a dust
cores and linings of infill panels, for some boards up hazard if very friable,
composite products domestic boiler to 1965. broken, abraded, sawn or
casings, partition drilled.
and ceiling panels,
oven linings and
Ropes and yarns Lagging. All types of Fibre may be released.
Jointing and packing asbestos were used
materials. until about 1970.
Cloth Thermal insulation All types of asbestos Fibres may be released if
and lagging. have been used. materials are abraded.
Millboard and paper General heat Crocidolite used for Subject to abrasion or wear.
insulation and fibre in some millboard.
Asbestos cement Roofing. 10-15% asbestos. Likely to release fibres if
Wall cladding and Crocidolite and abraded, hand sawn or
Profiled sheets. weatherboarding. amosite have been worked on with power tools.
Semi- compressed Decorative panels for
flat sheet and facing, bath panels,
partition board. soffits, linings to walls
and ceilings, domestic
structural uses, fire
composite panels for
flat sheet and
Tiles and slates Cladding.
(made from fully Roofing.
ASBESTOS MATERIALS USED IN BUILDINGS (cont.)
Asbestos product Use Asbestos content Remarks
Asbestos cement Cisterns and tanks. 10-15% asbestos. Likely to release fibres if
Preformed Crocidolite and abraded, hand sawn or
Flue pipes, fencing.
moulded amosite have been worked on with power tools.
Roofing components. used.
Cable troughs and
Ventilators and ducts.
Asbestos-bitumen Bitumen roofing felt. Chrysotile fibre or Fibre release unlikely
products. Bitumen damp-proof asbestos paper during normal use.
course (dpc). (approximately 100%
Gutter linings and asbestos) in bitumen.
Flooring. Thermoplastic floor tiles. Up to 25% asbestos. Fibre release is unlikely to be a
hazard under normal service
PVC vinyl floor tiles and Normally less than conditions.
unbacked PVC flooring. 10%
chrysotile. Fibre may be released when
Asbestos paper backed material is cut, and there may
PVC floors. Paper backing be substantial release when
approximately 100% flooring, particularly with
chrysotile asbestos. paper backing, is removed.
Textured coating. Coatings on walls and 3-5 chrysotile Fibres may be released when
ceilings. asbestos. ‘dry mix’ materials are
prepared or when old coating is
putties and General. 0.5%-2%. Sanding down with power tools
adhesives. should be avoided.
Reinforced PVC and Panels and cladding. Variable.
plastics. Reinforcement for
Wall plugging Wall fixings. Greater than 90%. Made up from loose asbestos
compound. and cotton fibre with plaster
Hairdryers, fans and Paper, element Variable. In general, gaskets and brake
radiant electric formers, brake pads, pads are sealed and are unlikely
heaters, irons, toasters, compressed fibre to release fibre.
washing machines, gaskets and seals.
tumble dryers; spin
Cookers. Insulating board. 16 - 40%
Fire cement. Variable.
Simmering mats. Millboard. Approaching 100%.
Irons stands. Paper, millboard and Approaching 100% and
ASBESTOS MATERIALS USED IN BUILDINGS (cont.)
Asbestos product Use Asbestos content Remarks
Catalytic gas Compressed asbestos 100% sometimes covered In general, gaskets are sealed
heaters. fibre panels. by a glass fibre mesh. and are unlikely to release
Gas warm-air Aluminium backed Approaching 100%
heaters paper, cloth and and 16-40%.
Boilers, pipework. Asbestos/plaster with Variable.
or without a surface
Electric ‘warm-air’ ‘Caposil’ insulating Variable.
and storage heaters. blocks.
Radiators. String, washers. Approaching 100%
We have produced what we consider to be a hierarchy of risk of exposure when working with
asbestos. This list is shown overleaf
ASBESTOS CONTAINING MATERIALS
Rated in Order of Risk
SPRAY COATINGS AND LOOSE FILL
Spray - Uncoated or Encapsulated
Loose Fill - Packing for Fire Stop
PRE-FORMED SECTION & SLAB
With High Asbestos Content
ASBESTOS INSULATING BOARD
Because in the undisturbed state AIB is low
in the hazard order, it is not appreciated that
high fibre levels are released when it is disturbed
OTHER LAGGING INCLUDING COMPOSITION
Monolithic insulation - wet applied.
Moderate asbestos content
ROPE, GASKETS, BLANKETS & PACKING
May have an encapsulating sealing coat
A form of soft board
Difficult to achieve fibre suppression
FLOOR TILES, MASTICS, ROOF FELTS
High fibre content is sometimes the case
HIGH BUILD PAINTS
e.g. Textured coating, 4% White asbestos
When asbestos is found to be present in buildings there are several courses of action, which
can be taken. Examples of these actions are given in the following diagrams.
TABLE 1: DECISION FLOW CHART
OPTIONS TO CONTROL FIBRE RELEASE DURING WORK WITH ASBESTOS MATERIAL
Are approved fibre Work carefully ensuring
Will the Control Suppression methods Fibre/dust release is as low
Limit be No No
Reasonably practicable as reasonably practicable.
Is the work area Yes Can heat be switched of No In these rare exceptions,
surface hot? before work? special care is required.
Use air management to
avoid excess humidity
No Switch off and
allow to cool down
Is installation Can the installation including
redundant? asbestos be cut out and
No No Yes
Is the surface of the insulation Yes Use wrap and cut
in reasonable condition? removal technique
Go to Table 2
From Table 1
TABLE 2: DECISION FLOW CHART
OPTIONS TO CONTROL FIBRE RELEASE DURING WORK WITH ASBESTOS MATERIAL
Is it friable and soft Yes Is surface No Wet with controlled low-
material? coated? pressure spray and /or use
low-pressure injection and /or
Can Coating be readily Use low-pressure
Can coating be removed
Yes Inject, carefully remove
or drilled without fibre
release coating then spray as
appropriate and/or use air
management and/or vacuum
Use air management
with or without
Go to Table 3 additional controlled
From Table 3
TABLE 3: DECISION FLOW CHART
OPTIONS TO CONTROL FIBRE RELEASE DURING WORK WITH ASBESTOS MATERIAL
Is it sheet board Yes Is one side accessible Yes Wet thoroughly with controlled
or tile? for wetting (unpainted)? low pressure spraying and/or use
air management system
Can access be made below Yes Provide access prior to thorough
control limit e.g. shadow wetting with controlled low
vacuum technique? pressure spraying or use air
No management system
Use air management
Is it dust or debris? Yes Is it on a porous Yes Use air management
No Use controlled wetting and/or air
For other materials Assess and use
and combinations appropriate methods
CHANGES TO ASBESTOS LEGISLATION
(Regulation 4), of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 (CAR), requires those with
responsibilities for the repair and maintenance of non-domestic premises to find out if there are,
or may be, asbestos-containing materials within them. It also requires them to record the
location and condition of such materials, and then assess and manage any risk from them,
including passing on information about their location and condition to anyone liable to disturb
A new Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) has been produced to support regulation 4 of CAR.
The management of asbestos in non-domestic premises L127 gives advice on how to comply
with the new legal requirements and explains the duties of building owners, tenants and anyone
else with legal responsibilities for non-domestic premises. It highlights the flexibility of the new
regulations to cover a range of situations and to allow a proportionate approach to be taken to
managing the risks from asbestos. For example, it stresses that asbestos in good condition,
which is unlikely to be disturbed, should be left in place and managed.
A.C.O.P THE MANAGEMENT OF ASBESTOS IN NON-DOMESTIC PREMISES L127 -
Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2006
This approved code of practice covers the duty holder’s responsibilities under Regulation 4 of
the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006. The approved code of practice has been published
along with HSG227 so that those who have duties under regulation 4 know what they are
required to do and take action to manage the risks from asbestos in their premises. A new
ACOP covering all new Regulations has been published recently.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
You as an employer or self employed person where you have the powers to authorise
repairs or alterations.
If you employ maintenance workers you will need to consider how they are going to
comply with the regulations.
WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO ACHIEVE?
Ensure that no one is exposed to asbestos whilst on your premises – whether they are
there to work or otherwise.
Ensure that no one works on any asbestos containing materials unless they are aware of
it and CAWR requirements are in place this will require you to have a written plan
identifying those parts of the premises concerned and what measures are to be taken for
managing the risk.
WHERE DO YOU START?
You will have to assess whether you have any asbestos in your workplace including
fixed plant and machinery
Guidance on what to look for and how to go about the examination is covered in detail in
the new ACOP L127, HSG227 and HSG264.
The new legislation defines levels of competency and experience for persons carrying
surveys, inspections and analysis and that means a UKAS accredited laboratory.
APEC Environmental Ltd have all 4 parts of UKAS accreditation
LANDLORDS WHO RENT/LEASE OUT PREMISES
Where tenants or leaseholders are responsible for alterations, maintenance and repairs
then the landlord has no responsibility.
Where the landlord is responsible for maintenance and repairs and the premises thus
become workplaces, then the landlord has responsibility.
A.C.O.P WORK WITH MATERIALS CONTAINING ASBESTOS – Control of Asbestos
Reg 3 Application of these Regulations
Reg 4 Duty to manage asbestos in non-domestic premises
Reg 5 Identification of the presence of asbestos
Reg 6 Assessment of work, which exposes employees to asbestos
Reg 7 Plans of work
Reg 8 Licensing of work with asbestos
Reg 9 Notification of work with asbestos
Reg 10 Information, Instruction and Training
Reg 11 Prevention or reduction of exposure to asbestos
Reg 12 Use of control measures
Reg 13 Maintenance of control measures
Reg 14 Provision and cleaning of protective clothing
Reg 15 Arrangements to deal with accidents, incidents and emergencies
Reg 16 Duty to prevent or reduce the spread of asbestos
Reg 17 Cleanliness of premises and plant
Reg 18 Designated Areas
Reg 19 Air monitoring
Reg 20 Standards for air testing and site clearance certification
Reg 21 Standards for analysis
Reg 22 Health records and medical surveillance
Reg 23 Washing and changing facilities
Reg 24 Storage, distribution and labelling of raw asbestos and asbestos waste
Reg 25 Interpretation of prohibitions
Reg 26 Prohibitions of exposure to asbestos
Reg 27 Prohibitions of the importation of asbestos
Reg 28 Prohibition of the supply of asbestos
Reg 29 Prohibitions of the use of asbestos
Reg 30 Labelling of products containing asbestos
Reg 31 Additional provisions in the case of exceptions and exemptions
Reg 32 Exemption certificates
Reg 33 Exemptions relating to the Ministry of Defence
Reg 34 Extension outside Great Britain
Reg 35 Existing licenses and exemption certificates
Reg 36 Revocations, amendments and savings
Reg 37 Defence
This ACOP replaces L27 and L28
DUTY HOLDERS IN SCHOOLS
In schools, the duty holder is the person in control of construction, refurbishment and
maintenance activities in the premises. In educational establishments the duty holder will be the
employer. Who the employer is can vary with the type of school:
For community schools, community special schools, voluntary controlled schools, maintained
nursery schools and pupil referral units the employer is the Local Authority.
For foundation schools, foundation special schools and voluntary aided schools, the employer is
usually the Governing Body
For independent schools, the employer is usually the Governing Body or the proprietor.
THE MANAGEMENT PLAN
The management plan is a working document similar to a health and safety management
system. It contains a series of procedures that must be followed in order to ensure that the
asbestos materials you have on site are adequately managed and as a minimum contains the
Roles and Responsibilities
Procedures for Reviewing the Policy
Details of how the asbestos information is recorded and stored
Risk Assessment and Action Plan
Procedures for Monitoring
Procedure for passing the asbestos information to staff and contractors
Asbestos Emergency Procedures
Asbestos Removal Procedure –
HSE Licensed Material
Non Licensed Material
Incident Investigation Procedures
The law requires you to have a working management plan in place and documented
evidence that demonstrates that the plan is in use and effective. If the HSE come to your
site they will expect you to provide the documentary evidence.
These are evaluated by considering the total risk factors from adding the scores from two
separate scoring systems. First, a Material Assessment Score is made, followed by a
Management Priority Score based on occupancy and likely disturbance of the material.
HSG264 Material Assessment Score:
The Material Assessment Score comprises four separate elements, as follows:
(i) the type of the asbestos material, (ii) its condition, (iii) its surface treatment and (iv) the type of
Belts 1 Mattress Material 3 Soil 2
Bituminous Product 1 Mill Board 2 Strings 2
Cement product 1 Packing 3 Thermal Insulation 3
Coating (Non-Sprayed) 1 Plastic 1 Thermoplastic Floor Tiles 1
Corrugated paper 2 Reinforced PVC 1 Vinyl product 1
Dust and debris 3 Quilt 3 Wallpaper 1
Felt 2 Resin 1 Decorative Tiles 1
Gaskets 2 Rope 2 Woven Insulation 2
Insulation Board (IB) 2 Roofing Felt 1
Lose Insulation 3 Semi Rigid Paint 1
Low Density Board (Not IB) 2 Sprayed Coatings 3
Extent of Damage
This takes into consideration any damage to the actual ACM (not damage to any surface
Good Condition – No Visible Damage 0
Low Damage – Scratches/Broken Edges 1
Medium Damage – Significant Breakage/Exposed Fibres 2
High Damage – Visible Debris 3
This takes into consideration any treatment or covering to the ACM.
Very Good – No Damage to Treatment 0
Good – Minor Abrasions to Treatment 1
Poor – Damaged Treatment 2
Very Poor – No Treatment 3
Analysed samples are given a score according to the type of asbestos identified to be present in
Amphiboles With or Without Chrysotile But Excluding Crocidolite 2
In accordance with HSG264 these scores are then added together which result in each material
being categorised as follows:
Category A (>10) - regarded as having a high potential to release fibres if disturbed.
Category B (7 – 9) - regarded as having medium potential to release fibres if disturbed.
Category C (5 & 6) - regarded as having low potential to release fibres if disturbed.
Category D (<4) - regarded as having very low potential to release fibres if disturbed
Note: Asbestos debris is automatically assessed as Category A.
Duty Holders Priority Risk Assessment (CAR 2006 Asbestos Management Priority
This considers the risk potential by analysing the following:
• Maintenance activity
• Occupant activity
• Likelihood of disturbance
• Human exposure potential
Priority Assessment Algorithms
These are estimated by the surveyor in consultation with the duty holder where possible. The
risk assessment will form the basis of a management plan, so it is important that it is as accurate
as is reasonably practicable
The 4 general categories are sub divided so that one or more factors may be taken into
account. The score for each main category is the averaged score for that category rounding up
When carrying out a risk assessment the main type of use of an area and the activities taking
place within it should be considered.
Normal Occupant Activity - Non-Maintenance
Rare Disturbance – Little used store 0
Low Disturbance – Office type 1
Periodic Disturbance – Industrial or vehicular activity 2
High Disturbance – e.g. Fire door in constant use 3
Other Occupant Activity - Non-Maintenance
Rare Disturbance – Little used store 0
Low Disturbance – Office type 1
Periodic Disturbance – Industrial or vehicular activity 2
High Disturbance – e.g. Fire door in constant use 3
Likelihood of Disturbance
The 3 factors that will determine the likelihood of disturbance are the location, accessibility and
its extent or amount of asbestos.
Large Rooms> 100m² 1
Rooms up to 100m² 2
Confined spaces - e.g. Plant rooms, ducts and lofts 3
Usually Inaccessible 0
Occasionally Visited 1
Easily Visited 2
Routinely Visited 3
Small Amounts (fuse boxes, single items etc) 0
< 10m² or < 10Lm 1
> 10m² but < 50m² or > 10Lm but < 50Lm 2
> 50m² or > 50Lm 3
Human Exposure Potential
The human exposure potential will depend on the number of people exposed, the frequency of
use of the area and the time period the area is occupied.
No of occupants
1 to 4 1
4 to 10 2
> 10 3
Frequency of Use
Average Time of Use
< 1 hour per day 0
> 1hour and < 3 hours per day 1
> 3 hours and < 6 hours per day 2
> 6 hours per day 3
There are 2 types of maintenance that should be considered, planned and un-planned.
along with the frequency of any maintenance.
Minor Disturbance Possible 0
Low Disturbance Possible 1
Medium Disturbance Possible 2
High Disturbance Possible 3
Material Unlikely to be Disturbed 0
< 1 Activity per year 1
> 1 Activity per year 2
> 1 Activity per month 3
Adding the individual scores from the above factors results in a total score for the “Duty Holder’s
Priority Assessment Score
However, the Duty Holder has the ultimate responsibility to check that any assessments made
by 3rd parties and to make sure that the estimate of the Duty Holder’s Risk Priority Score is
correct, as he has a detailed knowledge of the site rather than a surveyor (i.e. he should check
each calculation, and review the scores if corrections are necessary, or when changes occur).
Risk Priority Code 1, risk scores 18 or higher = HIGH RISK
Recommended Action: Manage ACM’s and carry out planned remedial action to reduce the risk
score, typically within 12 months or less, to below risk score 18 in accordance with your
Asbestos Policy and Management Plan.
Risk Priority Code 2, risk scores 12 to 17 = MEDIUM RISK
Recommended Action: Manage as Priority 1’s, but remedial action may be deferred until
maintenance regimes change, or demolition or major refurbishment is planned.
Risk Priority Code 3, risk scores 11 or less = LOW RISK
Recommended Action: Manage and consider removal if the item falls within a demolition or
major refurbishment area and works is likely to disturb the material.
Any change in property usage, including maintenance activities should prompt a formal re-
assessment and update of the “Asbestos Register” (including “Risk Priority Scores” and
recommended actions). It is recommended that a review/audit should be carried out at least
every 12 months to update the system. A written record must be made of each review and any
information about ACM’s given to anyone who may be at risk from disturbing them (e.g.
APPENDIX 1- DISEASES
Knowledge of the medical effects of asbestos has accumulated slowly since the turn of the century
and it is now universally agreed that the exposure of men and women to asbestos can, in certain
circumstances, lead to three diseases: Asbestosis, Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma of the
peritoneum or pleura. It can also certainly cause a group of benign conditions of the pleura of
variable importance, and it may cause a group of other cancers, including cancers of the larynx,
gastro-intestinal tract and kidney, and conceivably a wide range of others. Some of the features of
these conditions are, we believe, beyond dispute and we describe them briefly here, without giving
detailed evidence in support.
Asbestosis is defined as “Fibrosis” of the lungs caused by asbestos dusts which may or may not be
associated with fibrosis of the parietal (outer) or pulmonary (inner) layer of the pleura.”
The fibrosis of the lungs that is associated with asbestosis, is, however, indistinguishable
radiological from cryptogenic fibrosing alveolitis (an uncommon disease of unknown cause*) and
the differential diagnosis is a matter of weighing the probabilities. The severity of asbestosis
depends both on the amount of asbestos to which the individual has been exposed and the length
of time since exposure first began. Asbestos fibres can remain in the lungs for long periods and the
fibrosis that results from their presence continue to develop and for many years after exposure
stops. The development of asbestosis is, therefore, a slow process and even the gross dust
exposures that used to occur in the past seldom led to sufficient fibrosis to cause death in less than
With reduction in the amount of exposure, the development of fibrosis slows down and therefore
action becomes so slight and it’s spread so slow that no person with otherwise healthy lungs would
develop significant disability before reaching an age when he was likely to die from other causes.
If, however, lung function is also affected by other causes, such as the development of chronic
obstructive lung disease from tobacco smoke, the marginal effects of any additional fibrosis may
aggravate symptoms and hasten the subject’s death.
The lung cancers that are caused by asbestos should properly be called bronchial carcinomas, as
should the vast majority of lung cancers that are caused by other known agents. The term ‘lung
cancer’ is, however, in such general use that we shall continue to it here. Individual lung cancers
that are caused by asbestos are, unfortunately, indistinguishable from those that are caused by
cigarette smoking or by most of the other agents, which, together with asbestos, are responsible for
making lung cancer the commonest type of cancer to cause death in the population as a whole.
Like other lung cancers, those that are caused by asbestos occur principally in the main bronchi;
but they also occur in the smaller bronchi and in the periphery of the lung and they appear under
the microscope in all the common histological forms (squams carcinoma, small or oat-cell
carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma). Asbestos, moreover, seems to exert its effect synergistically
with tobacco smoke, increasing the incidents rate among people of given age by the same
proportion in smokers and non-smokers alike.
Lung cancer attributable to asbestos, like carcinomas attributable to other known causes, does not
generally occur until several years after the initial exposure. The first few cases in an exposed
population may appear as soon as five to nine years after first exposure, but the excess risk of
developing the diseases continue to increase for a further 20 years and possibly linger.
Mesothelioma’s of the pleura or peritoneum are normally so rare, other than after occupational or
other unusual exposure to asbestos, that any case that occurs after well attested and substantial
asbestos exposure is commonly accepted as due to that exposure, subject only to the qualification
that the time since the exposure occurred must be long enough to permit the disease to have been
produced. This qualification in important as the delay between first exposure and effect is longer for
mesotheliomas than for most other cancers; it is seldom less than 15 years, and possibly never less
than 10 years. Any period less than 15 years must, therefore, throw doubt on the relationship of the
disease to the exposure in question.
As with lung cancer (and with other cancers due to other causes) increasing exposure increases
the risk of developing the disease, but does not affect the length of the induction period. Periods of
30, 40 or even 50 years are common, and according to Peto et al (1982), who sought a model that
would fit several of the largest sets of data, the risk continues to increase indefinitely with the time
since exposure first occurred.
The relationship of mesothelioma to asbestos differs in several ways from the relationship for lung
cancer. The hazard appears to be more strongly dependant on the type of asbestos and to be
largely or wholly unaffected by smoking.
APPENDIX 2 - MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES
Building managers and owners should have a proactive and positive approach to ensuring the
Health, safety and welfare of its employees and anyone else who may be affected by its
1. Obligations of contractors
Contractors have duties both in civil and criminal law not to expose their own employees
or any other person to health and safety risks. In particular, contractors have obligations
under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to conduct their work in such a way as to
maintain, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of their own
employees and not to endanger persons who are not their employees. These
obligations have special significance under the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations
1989, in particular the requirement to inform the HSE 14 days prior to the
commencement of work.
2. Obligations of the employer
The employer has a duty to ensure that all the employer’s premises are as safe as is
reasonably practicable for all the persons who may work there even if they are not the
employer’s direct employees.
Contractors must take in to account of, and make reference to, health and safety issues
when preparing and presenting tender and similar documents, this may include
consulting the asbestos register prior to any submissions being made.
3. Risk assessments
Before commencing work in any of the employer’s premises the contractor must contact
the employer’s representative who will arrange for a work permit to be issued. The work
permit is a document that authorises the contractor to undertake work activity set out in
the permit and identifies the control measures to be established. In order to be issued a
work permit the contractor must carryout a full risk assessment for the work activity to be
undertaken. This will outline the procedures and personnel involved, and the control
measures the contractor will have in place for the purpose of undertaking the work in a
safe manner. The overriding principle is that the detail of the risk assessment should be
proportionate to the risk and should:
a. Identify the hazards
b. Assess the risks
c. Apply the controls
d. Monitor the controls
e. Review and re - assess
Once in possession of these forms the employer’s representative will discuss with the
contractor any known or additional hazards that might arise or be present in the
employer’s premises and which might affect the health and safety of the contractor. The
employer’s representative will ensure that a risk assessment that takes these additional
risks into account is carried out and agree appropriate precautions to be taken with the
3. Further investigations
Where the works involve major refurbishment that requires disturbance or removal of
structural building fabric, the contractor should stop work at reasonable intervals and
satisfy himself that there is no asbestos present. There have been occurrences of
asbestos within the fabric of the building that was not identified by the survey because it
was hidden by building fabric.
Should a contractor encounter any material, which is suspected of containing asbestos
the work shall be suspended immediately pending analysis of the material.
4. Responsibilities of the contractor
The contractor shall employ on the works only such persons as are careful, skilled and
competent in the performance of the duties required of them to carry out the works. The
contractor shall be entirely responsible for all aspects of the works of his suppliers and
sub contractors as though he were carrying out the works himself. He shall be
accountable for the following:
a. Behaviour of staff.
b. Protection to prevent property damage.
c. Provision of protective clothing and equipment.
d. Hazardous or toxic materials (COSHH).
e. Carriage and disposal of hazardous chemicals or waste materials.
APPENDIX 3 - THE ROLE OF THE ANALYST
The appointed Analytical Company will be able to provide a comprehensive service to deal with
any aspect of an asbestos enquiry and provide rapid response in the cases of emergency and
undertake the following:
a. asbestos bulk analysis and report within 24 hours.
b. all types of site surveys for asbestos.
c. written reports with marked up drawings and recommendations for remedial action.
d. preparation of full technical specifications for removal projects.
e. management and on site technical supervision of asbestos removal works to ensure
compliance with all statutory obligations.
f. measurement of airborne asbestos fibre concentrations.
g. 4-stage clearance testing and issue of certificates of re-occupation
For any further advice contact our office:
Mr M Curtis
APEC Environmental Ltd
48 High Street
Tel: 01276 472596 Fax: 01276 479182 Mobile: 07919 415028