Removing Asbestos UK & Asbestos Removal Regulations
Table of Contents
Last Updated on 25 May 2022
Removing Asbestos in the UK
When it comes to the topics of removing asbestos and the Asbestos Removal Regulations in the UK (Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012), both go together hand in hand.
It is firstly important to understand the relevant parts of the regulations so you can ensure that you and those around you are safe from any exposure to asbestos.
In the majority of cases, you will have received information that a material contains asbestos. This can be from a survey document, a laboratory test result sheet or in some cases a strong presumption asbestos is present, from an experienced surveyor.
Once you have this information, you can make a decision on removing asbestos in the UK. Removal is not always the best option however. It may be that the material is safe, sealed and generally unlikely to affect anyone through any accidental or deliberate acts. In those cases, the UK asbestos regulations and asbestos removal regulations allow you to leave the material in situ and manage it appropriately.
Who is responsible for managing asbestos according to the regulations?
To begin with, the two principal types of person the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 apply to are ‘Duty Holders’ and to ‘Employers’. These types of person often use others to carry out roles which meet their responsibilities. These can include safety officers, managers, maintenance staff, estate managers etc.
Identifying a ‘duty holder’ isn’t always straightforward. For example, within a school it could be the head teacher, the local authority or even the chair of governors.
If you are unsure whether or not you’re classed as the duty holder and if the regulations apply to you, then you should seek professional advice as the responsibility involves a number of duties which must be discharged to comply with current legislation – The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
Who can remove asbestos in the UK?
If the UK property you own or control does contain asbestos, you may be wondering about removing it and thinking, ‘can I remove it myself?’ This type of work can be fraught with difficulty.
Unless you hold a license from the HSE in the UK or are fully trained to remove ‘lower risk’ asbestos containing materials, it is highly advisable that when removing asbestos in the UK that you allow a specialist to remove your asbestos as opposed to completing the procedure yourself.
Removing licensed asbestos materials such as pipe lagging, board and spray coatings is an offence under the asbestos removal regulations/ licensing and guidance in the UK.….(if you do not have a license you could be fined or jailed)…..Specialist training is also required for working with ‘none licensed’ or ‘lower risk’ products. These may included Artex, Cement sheeting and floor tiles.
There are three principal groups of people who remove or work with asbestos:-
- Licensed Contractor (licensed by the HSE)
- Trained asbestos operative or company
- A contractor such as a roofer who has an asbestos training certificate (none licensed – sometimes referred to as CAT B)
Our suggestion is always to contact at least three to five companies. Prices vary tremendously depending on the work, location, time of year and how busy the contractor is with other work. Always get references relating to other similar types of work they have carried out.
If you require non-licensed products removing, such as floor tiles or asbestos cement products, you can use either a licensed or a trained contractor.
Our concluding advice on asbestos removal in the UK
Everybody knows the dangers of asbestos, however, many people are not aware that the substance is at its most dangerous when it is disturbed.
By removing asbestos in the UK without being educated on the best practices of handling the material, you are more likely to allow the dangerous asbestos fibres to release into the air. This not only puts you at serious risk of inhaling these extremely hazardous fibres, but it also endangers anyone who passes through the area for the foreseeable future.
To conclude and to emphasise the dangers of asbestos, it is still reported that asbestos-related diseases are currently responsible for approaching 5500 deaths in the UK every year. So, for the safety of both yourself and everyone else within your UK property, it is crucial that you do not attempt to remove asbestos by yourself. Get professional help, read about the regulations on asbestos removal and talk to organisations like RB Asbestos Consultants who can guide you through the maze.
If you need any advice in relation to removing asbestos in any properties you own, maintain or control in the UK, then please contact us on 0800 141 2676, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in the form below.