Informa Markets

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May 18, 2008

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Revised asbestos guidance

Most work with asbestos-containing materials, including lagging, insulation and insulating board, must be done by an HSE-licensed contractor.

‘Asbestos Essentials’ covers work that does not need a licence, if carried out as the sheets contained within it describe. Each sheet describes ‘good practice’ for a particular task and covers the action needed to reduce exposure to an adequate level.

When asbestos materials are damaged or disturbed they can release dangerous fibres which, if inhaled, can cause serious diseases.

Trades likely to disturb asbestos include those working on the fabric of a building, for example:

• electricians, joiners, plumbers, gas fitters, shop fitters, heating and ventilation engineers;

• labourers, roofers, plasterers, demolition workers and other workers in construction;

• phone and data engineers, alarm installers; and

• surveyors, general maintenance engineers, painters and decorators.

It is noted that the manual will help small businesses, sub-contractors and the self-employed comply with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006, and will also help dutyholders, clients, trade union and employee safety representatives understand how work should be done.

The premises owner (client or dutyholder) needs to inform workers where any asbestos-containing materials (or materials presumed to contain asbestos) likely to be met in the course of the work are.

HSE says the book provides the information needed to help workers recognise asbestos, and protect themselves.

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