UK Abestos Removal Regulations 2021/22
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was widely used in building construction and other industries due to its heat-resistant and insulation properties. However, it is now known to be a dangerous substance that can cause serious health problems, including lung cancer and mesothelioma. As a result, the United Kingdom has strict regulations in place for the removal of asbestos.
As of December 2021, the UK's asbestos regulations are covered by the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR) 2012 and the Asbestos (Licensing) Regulations 1992. These regulations are enforced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and local authorities.
The CAR 2012 regulations require that anyone who manages or controls non-domestic premises must identify any asbestos present in the building and assess the risk it poses. This includes conducting a survey to locate and identify any asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) and creating an asbestos management plan that outlines how the ACMs will be safely managed. The regulations also specify that only licensed contractors can carry out work on asbestos.
The Asbestos (Licensing) Regulations 1992 requires any person or company who carries out work with asbestos must be licensed by the HSE, unless the work is of a low-risk nature and can be carried out safely by a competent person who is not licensed.
In addition to the above regulations, employers must also comply with the requirement to provide employees with adequate information, instruction and training under Regulation 10 of the CAR 2012. It is also require to conduct risk assessments, which should be regularly reviewed, to ensure that the risks from asbestos are being adequately controlled.
The HSE recommends that asbestos removal work should only be carried out by licensed contractors who have the necessary skills and equipment to safely handle and dispose of asbestos. These contractors must also have adequate liability insurance to cover any accidents or incidents that may occur during the removal process.
It is important to note that if asbestos is found in a building, it does not necessarily have to be removed. Instead, the asbestos can be safely managed by sealing it, covering it, or enclosing it to prevent the fibres from becoming airborne. However, if the asbestos is damaged or in poor condition, it may need to be removed.
When asbestos is removed, it must be done in accordance with strict guidelines to minimize the release of asbestos fibres into the air. This includes using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), sealing off the work area, and using specialized equipment to remove the asbestos. The asbestos waste must then be safely disposed of at a licensed landfill site.
In addition to the regulations and guidelines set out by the HSE, the UK also complies with the European Union's regulations on asbestos, which include limits on the amount of asbestos that can be present in products, and requirements for labelling and notification of products containing asbestos.
It is important for building owners and managers to understand their legal responsibilities with regards to asbestos, and to work with licensed contractors who have the necessary expertise and equipment to safely manage or remove any asbestos present in a building.
In conclusion, the UK has strict regulations in place to ensure that asbestos is safely removed and disposed of, to protect the health and safety of both workers and the general public. The regulations are enforced by the HSE and local authorities and building owners must comply with them and take the necessary steps to identify and manage the risks from asbestos in their properties.
Regular inspection, risk assessment and work with licensed contractor will ensure the building remains safe and asbestos free environment for the people who live and work in it.