You’ve seen the headlines around the risks involved in asbestos removal.
More people die each year from exposure to asbestos than are killed on Britain’s roads.
It’s only normal that, finding asbestos in your building, you’d worry. But how real is the risk to your health, and the health of others, if you do find asbestos?
What is asbestos?
Until 2000, asbestos was often used in buildings due to its insulating and strengthening properties. Since an increasing awareness of the health issues surrounding asbestos, there has been a renewed focus on asbestos removal.
The soft and flexible fibres of asbestos can be released into the air if they are disturbed or damaged. Once inhaled, they can become trapped in the body, causing diseases such as Mesothelioma, Lung Cancer, Asbestosis and other life-limiting diseases, killing around 5,000 workers each year, according to the Health and Safety Executive.
It’s the extensive risk to health, posed by asbestos, which has led to such tight regulation around the removal of asbestos in the UK.
So what does the law say about buildings with asbestos?
Whilst the law doesn’t demand asbestos removal, it does require asbestos to be managed. According to the HSE, Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos 2012 Regulations defines ’managing asbestos’ as:
- • Taking reasonable steps to identify materials containing asbestos in non-domestic premises. The amount, location and condition of these materials should be established – duty holders should presume that materials contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence that they do not.
- • Making and maintaining an up-to-date record of the location and condition of the asbestos-containing materials (or those presumed to contain asbestos).
- • Assessment of the risk to anyone exposed to fibres from these materials.
- • Preparing a plan setting out how the risks from these materials will be managed.
- • Putting the plan into action.
- • Reviewing the plan periodically to ensure it remains relevant and up-to-date.
- • Providing information on the location and condition of the asbestos-containing materials to anyone likely to work on, or disturb them.
- • It also confers a duty on others to co-operate as necessary to allow the duty holder to comply with the above requirements.
Who is responsible for the management of asbestos?
Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos 2012 Regulations states that the responsibility for the ‘management’ of asbestos falls to the ‘duty holder’; the person who owns the premises, or the person with a clear responsibility to maintain and keep the premises.
What to do if you discover you have asbestos in your building
Never attempt asbestos removal yourself. If you suspect that you may have asbestos-containing materials in your property, contact asbestos removal specialists such as Rainbow International who will be able to conduct a full risk assessment of the site.
Rainbow Coventry have specialist technicians trained to safely and effectively remove asbestos.
Trained by bSure, asbestos testing and training specialists, Rainbow’s technicians will manage your asbestos removal from start to finish.
They will conduct an initial testing of the area and, using the correct equipment, will remove the asbestos-containing material, set up exclusion zones as necessary and clear away all materials safely, removing them from your site. Then, for peace of mind, they’ll also conduct a visual inspection and air tests before they leave.
If you believe you have asbestos-containing material on site, call us for more information. Or to arrange for one of our technicians to visit you call 02476 644 460.