What the Law Says
The duty to manage asbestos is contained in regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. It requires the person who has the duty (The University) to:
- take reasonable steps to find out if there are materials containing asbestos in non-domestic premises, and if so, its amount, where it is and what condition it is in
- presume materials contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence that they do not
- make, and keep up-to-date, a record of the location and condition of the asbestos containing materials or materials which are presumed to contain asbestos
- assess the risk of anyone being exposed to fibers from the materials identified
- prepare a plan that sets out in detail how the risks from these materials will be managed
- periodically review and monitor the plan and the arrangements to act on it so that the plan remains relevant and up-to-date
- provide information on the location and condition of the materials to anyone who is liable to work on or disturb them.
There is also a requirement on anyone to co-operate as far as is necessary to allow the duty holder to comply with the above requirements.
How the University Complies with the Law
Record keeping (Asbestos Register)
Estates Services is responsible for maintaining a record of all the known locations of asbestos within the fabric of University buildings. This record (the asbestos register) is the result of a survey carried out by a licensed asbestos contractor and includes an assessment of the condition of the materials including recommended frequency for inspection. Survey results are updated at least annually and amended whenever asbestos is newly discovered or removed.
Asbestos is difficult to identify without laboratory analysis therefore only competent persons (e.g. a licensed or UKAS accredited asbestos contractor) are permitted to take samples for asbestos analysis.
ACMs in the building fabric and laboratory equipment identified as containing asbestos should normally be marked with appropriate warning labels, (See Examples). Estates Services is only responsible for the building fabric, individual departments are responsible for ensuring the identification and labelling of their own equipment. There may be circumstances where labelling is considered inappropriate, agreement with both Safety, Health and Wellbeing (SHAW) and Estates Services should be sought in such cases.
Work on asbestos
The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 sets out the way in which work may be carried out on asbestos. Work on asbestos insulation or on asbestos insulation board, may only be carried out by contractors licensed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). All arrangements for such work are coordinated by Estates Services in consultation with their Asbestos Coordinator.
All work on asbestos containing material carried out within the University campus is undertaken by licensed asbestos contractors.
University personnel are not permitted to work with any form of asbestos.
Prevention of Uncontrolled Fibers
The uncontrolled release of asbestos fibers will present a hazard to health if work at or near ACMs is carried out without proper precautions. It is important that any work carried out within the university is properly managed to avoid the disturbance of ACMs present (e.g. work on walls, ceilings or pipe insulation). All work carried out by estates maintenance staff or contractors is done in conjunction with Estates Services' asbestos procedures.
This will involve the following
- liaising with the Asbestos Coordinator for guidance
- checking the Estates asbestos register
- sampling of suspect materials
- where work is likely to be of a destructive nature e.g. a major refurbishment or demolition, then a thorough Refurbishment/Demolition (R&D) survey (Formerly known as a type survey) will be carried out by an accredited or certificated surveyor in conjunction with a United Kingdom Accredditation Service Service (UKAS) accredited laboratory.
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