Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, ACoP L143 – five key changes
The revised version of L143 came into effect in December 2013. It contains the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, the Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) and guidance text for employers about work which disturbs, or is likely to disturb, asbestos, asbestos sampling and laboratory analysis.
Two ACoPs, L127 (The management of asbestos in non-domestic premises) and L143 (Work with materials containing asbestos) have been consolidated into this single revised publication. The ACoP has been revised to make legal compliance clearer to dutyholders and to reflect the changes introduced in The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (The Regulations).
The Regulations set out your legal duties and the ACoP and guidance give practical advice on how to comply with those duties. The Regulations give minimum standards for protecting employees from risks associated with exposure to asbestos.
The revision is part of a wholesale review and update of ACoPs being undertaken to make HSE advice clearer for the dutyholder to follow.
This article provides a summary of some of the key changes and amendments that have been made following the consolidation of the former ACoPs.
Regulation 2 – Interpretation
The interpretation of the term ‘sporadic and low intensity exposure’ has been moved to this section, changing it from guidance and giving it ACOP status (see paragraph 26/27). This is a significant change as it is key criteria in deciding whether certain work should be classed as requiring a licence or is non-licenced (including NNLW).
A definition of ‘short duration’ work is also clearly covered with ACoP status.
“licensable work with asbestos” is work:
a) where the exposure to asbestos of employees is not sporadic and of low intensity; or
b) in relation to which the risk assessment cannot clearly demonstrate that the control limit will not be exceeded; or
c) on asbestos coating; or
d) on asbestos insulating board or asbestos insulation for which the risk assessment:
(i) demonstrates that the work is not sporadic and of low intensity, or
(ii) cannot clearly demonstrate that the control limit will not be exceeded, or
(iii) demonstrates that the work is not short duration work.
Regulation 4 – Duty to Manage Asbestos in Non-Domestic Premises
One of the most significant changes to L143 is the full review of the previous ACoP for managing asbestos in non-domestic premises (L127) and the incorporation of the summarised ACOP and guidance into this section concerning Regulation 4. Both ACoP and guidance are much simpler in this revised version.
The ACoP has been significantly revised so as to provide dutyholders with practical guidance on the application of the requirements of Regulation 4. Several tables set out key definitions, including ‘Duty to manage in common parts of domestic premises’, ‘Identity of dutyholders’.
Regulation 10 – Information, Instruction and Training
ACoP lists training topics covering training for non-licensable work (paragraph 243) and also stresses that, for licensable work, employees should receive additional task-specific information and training.
Refresher training should be appropriately tailored to the licensable or non-licensable work being done and reflect the needs of the individual involved.
Refresher training should be provided every year, or more frequently if certain circumstances (listed) arise (paragraph 266).
Regulation 16 – Duty to Prevent or Reduce the Spread of Asbestos
This section has been extensively expanded to make the relevant ACOP much clearer and easier to understand and implement. The distinction between licensable and non-licensable work is made.
Expanded sub-sections now cover ‘Enclosures’ (from paragraph 384) and ‘Decontamination’ (from paragraph 400).
Full enclosures are required for most licensable work; enclosures for non-licensable work (including NNLW) with asbestos cement or other bonded materials, or for some outside/remote work will not normally be required. Partial enclosures are recommended for the removal of external asbestos cement soffits.
For other non-licensable work, full enclosures should be used for large-scale work; air extraction airflow rates as specified for licensable work should also be used where a full enclosure is used. ACOP air flow requirements for enclosures:
an airflow of at least 8 air changes per hour for enclosures greater than 120m3 in size or an airflow of at least 1,000m3 per hour for enclosures less than 120m3 in size. The enclosure size should include additional areas introduced during the asbestos removal, eg ceiling voids.
Regulation 22 – Health Records and Medical Surveillance
This regulation requires employers to arrange appropriate medical examinations for any employees who carry out licensable work or NNLW. It also sets out what health records employers must keep and for how long.
This section of the document has been extensively updated to include the requirements for medical examinations of employees that carry out NNLW. ACoP now specifies what health records should contain for both licensable work and NNLW (from paragraph 500).
A full version of the ACoP is available through the Barbour EHS Service.
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