Health & Safety, An Introduction to

Asbestos

Do you work with, or come into contact with asbestos?

Asbestos is the largest single cause of work-related fatal disease and ill-health in Great Britain. Almost all asbestos-related deaths and ill health are from exposures several decades ago, but if you work with asbestos, or come into contact with it during repair and maintenance work, you are at risk. You should avoid working with asbestos if possible, but if not you must do it safely.

Asbestos can be found in buildings built from 1950 to 1985 in many forms. It may also be found in some vehicle brake pads and clutch linings.

Does this concern me?

Do you know whether there is asbestos in your premises? It is often found in roofs and exterior walls, boilers, vessels and pipework, ceilings, interior walls and panels, flooring materials, air handling systems, domestic appliances, brake/clutch linings, fire blankets, etc.

Does your work involve maintenance and repair of premises? You might disturb asbestos while doing routine work.

Do you know what the rules are about removing asbestos? In most cases, you will need to use a contractor licensed by HSE to work with asbestos.

Would you know how to find someone licensed to do this work?

Do you know whether there is asbestos in any of the materials you work with?

What law applies?

The Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 1987 (as amended)

The Asbestos (Licensing) Regulations 1983 (as amended)

The Asbestos (Prohibitions) Regulations 1992 (as amended)

How and where you can get more help

‘Work with asbestos insulation, asbestos coating and asbestos insulating board Approved Code of Practice’ L28 ISBN 0 7176 2563 X £9.50

‘Asbestos alert pocket card for building maintenance, repair and refurbishment workers’ INDG188 FREE (available in packs of 25 ISBN 0 7176 1209 0 £5.00)

‘The Control of Asbestos at Work Approved Code of Practice’ L27 ISBN 0 7176 2562 1 £9.50

‘A comprehensive guide to managing asbestos in premises’ HSG227 ISBN 0 7176 2381 5 £12.50

‘Asbestos essentials task manual : Task guidance sheets for the building maintenance and allied trades’ HSG210 ISBN 0 7176 1887 0 £8.50

‘Introduction to asbestos essentials : Comprehensive guidance on working with asbestos in the building maintenance and allied trades’ HSG213 ISBN 0 7176 1901 X £12.50

You can order any of these titles through HSE Books.

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