Asbestos is a naturally occurring silicate mineral which became increasingly popular among manufacturers and builders from the 1940’s onwards. This is due to
its resistance to heat, electricity and chemical damage as well as its sound absorption and tensile strength. It has been used in a significant number of applications including wiring, roofing tiles and insulation and the
HSE now estimates that over 500,000 commercial, industrial and public properties throughout the UK contain asbestos.
Asbestos is known to have toxicity and the danger occurs when working on or near damaged asbestos-containing materials and the resultant inhalation of asbestos fibres. Once inhaled, these fibres can cause serious diseases (including mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis) which are responsible for around 4,000 deaths per year in the UK alone.
YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AND THE LAW
- Health & Safety Act 1974
- The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002
- Control of Asbestos at Work (CAW) Regulations 2012
Guidance and Technical Standards
- HSG 247- Asbestos The Licensed Contractor Guide
- HSG 248 Asbestos The Analyst Guide for Sampling Analysis and Clearance Procedures
- HSG 264 Asbestos The Survey Guide
- L127 The Management of Asbestos in Non Domestic Premises
The CAW Regulations specifically includes the ‘duty to manage asbestos’ in non-domestic premises. This affects all persons or organisations that have a clear responsibility for the maintenance or repair of non-domestic premises.