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Control of Asbestos Regulations

The Health and Safety Executive has advised that the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 came into force on 6th April 2012, updating previous asbestos regulations to take account of the European Commission's view that the UK had not fully implemented the EU Directive on exposure to asbestos.

In practice the changes are fairly limited. They mean that some types of non-licensed work with asbestos now have additional requirements, i.e. notification of work, medical surveillance and record keeping. By April 2015, all workers/self employed doing notifiable non-licensed work with asbestos must be under health surveillance by a doctor. Workers who are already under health surveillance for licensed work need not have another medical examination for non-licensed work, but medicals for notifiable non-licensed work are not acceptable for those doing licensed work.

All other requirements remain unchanged, including:

  • Persons responsible for maintenance of non-domestic premises have a 'duty to manage' the asbestos in them, to protect anyone using or working in the premises from the risks to health that exposure to asbestos causes.
  • Before carrying out any building or maintenance work in premises, or on plant or equipment that might contain asbestos, it is necessary to identify where it is and its type and condition; assess the risks, and manage and control these risks.
  • The requirements for licensed work remain the same: in the majority of cases, work with asbestos needs to be done by a licensed contractor. This work includes most asbestos removal, all work with sprayed asbestos coatings and asbestos lagging and most work with asbestos insulation and asbestos insulating board.

Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0.

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