Policy for the Management of Asbestos in Buildings

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1 in Buildings Health and Safety Services 1

2 A1. Introduction If asbestos fibres enter the lungs they can cause cancer or incurable disease. Consequently the University is committed to ensure that all reasonably practicable steps are taken to prevent exposure of staff, students, contractors or visitors, caused by inadvertent or inadequately controlled disturbance of asbestos fibres. Asbestos may be present in the following areas, or elsewhere: Lagging Ceiling or acoustic tiles or linings Linings to cold rooms or warm rooms Linings adjacent to radiators Linings of fume cupboards Ducting associated with fume cupboards Linings to doors Linings to panels/partitions which may act as fire protection Certain coatings Sealing material where pipes/cables pass through floors and walls Roofing sheets (flat or corrugated) Laboratory equipment (ovens, mats etc) If left intact and undisturbed, asbestos presents no direct risk. to release harmful dust unless carefully planned and controlled. However, any disturbance is liable In principle, complete removal under safe precautions is the preferred option, and a steady programme of removal is in progress. However, there are likely to remain situations where removal is very difficult or not reasonably practicable. It is, therefore, vital that, before work is done which will disturb areas where asbestos might be present, careful checks are first made to establish whether this is the case. Legal requirements and official codes must be followed, such as the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 and Approved Codes of Practice and Guidance Notes issued under these regulations. 2. Responsibility The Director of Facilities is responsible for ensuring, so far as reasonably practicable, that the precautions in this Management Code are carried out, this post holder is the duty holder. On a day to day basis the duties of the responsible person are discharged by the Asbestos Coordinator. Because of the risk of asbestos fibre release, Heads of Departments or Units are responsible for ensuring that no work which may disturb building materials is done except as authorised by the Director of Facilities. Authorisation must be obtained in writing by submission of the Approval to Carry Out Works Independently form (Form N1)) to the Director of Facilities, via the Assistant Director (Estates and Buildings). 3. Facilities Directorate Staff All Facilities staff who supervise work which could involve disturbance of asbestos will receive a copy of this code. They should make themselves aware of situations in which asbestos may be encountered and ensure that maintenance and other workers are informed of the presence or suspicion of asbestos. All Facilities staff should be aware of the hazard of asbestos exposure and, if a suspect material is accidentally disturbed, or becomes damaged, they should suspend the task and seal the area so 2

3 that safety in relation to asbestos can be checked. This check should be completed by the Asbestos Co-ordinator, who will also carry out an Emergency risk assessment. The Safety Office should also be informed about any accidental contamination of areas. Staff who observe what may be damaged or unsealed asbestos, e.g. in the course of a visit to a plant room, must report it to the supervisor who will report it to the Facilities Directorate for investigation and appropriate treatment. 4. Buildings & Services Works which may involve disturbance of asbestos The major risk from asbestos arises from disturbance and release of fibres in the course of modifications or repairs. Project leaders must check carefully whether the work they are planning may involve disturbance of asbestos. In all cases they should check the asbestos register (see Section 5) and/or arrange for samples to be taken and analysed. Before work starts, the person supervising the job must be certain that asbestos fibres will not be released. It is better to check for the presence of asbestos at the earliest stage in planning work. until later may cause disruption and extra expense, as well as increased risk. Leaving it All lagging, ceiling tiles, insulating board or other suspect materials (see section 1) must be treated as asbestos unless it is certain that they are not. For work involving such materials, the project leader or supervisor must take all possible care, including where necessary, site inspection by himself or someone acting on his behalf, to ensure that suspect asbestos is not overlooked and inadvertently disturbed. Work with asbestos or suspect asbestos must be discussed first with the Facilities Directorate asbestos co-ordinator and carried out in accordance with the precautions required by him. All work with asbestos or suspect asbestos, whether or not it is covered by standard procedures, must be planned in consultation with the Facilities Directorate and Asbestos Co-ordinator. Where applicable, drawings and plans supplied to contractors must identify the presence or suspected presence of asbestos based materials. For larger projects where the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations apply, then the Pre-Construction Information must contain relevant information on the presence of known or suspected asbestos-based materials. A Pre-Refurbishment (previously Type 3) Asbestos Survey will be required where significant refurbishment works are undertaken or if it is suspected that asbestos may be hidden and a destructive test would be necessary. 5. Identification An asbestos register by building will be maintained by the Facilities Directorate and continuously updated to allow for asbestos removal or new discoveries. It will be kept available to Facilities staff for consultation at all times. It is important to note, however, that this register will not be exhaustive, but in cases of doubt it should be consulted to see whether the material has previously been analysed. Asbestos in buildings, when it is properly sealed and remains undisturbed, is not a hazard. However, staff who observe what may be damaged or unsealed asbestos must report it to the Facilities Directorate for investigation and appropriate treatment. 3

4 Holders of the Asbestos Register are: Hull - Assistant Director (Estates and Buildings) - Maintenance Manager - Asbestos Co-ordinator - Safety Office Scarborough - Bursar 6. Labelling Where asbestos is identified it should normally be labelled as such, to reduce the risk of inadvertent disturbance. Where it is decided not to label asbestos materials, e.g. for large areas of ceiling tiles, it is essential that those who may work on or disturbed material are made aware of the presence of asbestos. 7. Monitoring Regular inspections will be carried out of all visible/accessible asbestos and recorded. Initially inspection will be annual, but varying inspection frequencies will then be established, depending on the probability of damage and the nature of the location. This initial inspection is completed by the Asbestos Co-ordinator who will carry out a Priority Risk Rating Assessment in accordance with HSG 227. Subsequent inspections may also be carried out by other suitably trained staff. When asbestos is found in unsatisfactory condition it will be removed, or if removal is not a viable alternative, it will be encapsulated. 8. Contractors All relevant information on the presence or suspected presence of asbestos-based materials will be passed in writing by the project leader to the principal contractor, who in turn is obliged to pass relevant information concerning the presence of asbestos to their sub-contractors. Contractors who do building and modification work for the University, even where the presence of asbestos is not expected, should be given information on asbestos. They should be asked to report any suspicious material they encounter in the course of their work so that it can be checked out before work on it proceeds further. 9. Licensed Asbestos Contractors Work involving asbestos should be done only by licensed asbestos contractors. Removal of asbestos lagging or coating must be done in compliance with Legislation and the relevant Codes of Practice. 10. Ceiling Tiles Asbestos ceiling tiles cannot easily be identified just by looking e.g. they may be painted. All ceiling tiles should be treated as containing asbestos unless they are known to be something else. Asbestos ceiling tiles will be removed by licensed contractors. 11. Emergency Call-Out In the case of emergency call-out, asbestos or suspect asbestos should not be disturbed until there has been time for a proper risk assessment, including reference to the asbestos register. The area should be made safe by isolation without disturbing asbestos. 4

5 12. Training New appointments to the Facilities Directorate will receive briefing from the Asbestos Co-ordinator regarding the procedures contained in this Code and will sign for a copy of the Code as part of the induction process. All Facilities technical and maintenance staff and others who may need to take the precautions in this Code into account will be supplied with a copy of this Code and will be required to attend asbestos awareness training sessions. Responsibility for ensuring training takes place lies with the Facilities Directorate. 13. Removal of Asbestos See Appendix 1 Standards to be adopted for the removal of asbestos. FURTHER INFORMATION Legislation The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 The Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2006 Guidance HSG 264 Asbestos the Survey Guide A vast amount of information relating to the control of Asbestos in Buildings is available on the HSE Web Site 5

6 Appendix 1: Standards to be adopted for the removal of asbestos 1. Notice of intended work involving asbestos contractors must be given to the Asbestos coordinator, who must approve the method of work. He will also inform the Director of University. 2. The Asbestos Co-ordinator or Project Leader will convene a site meeting to be held before work, starts to discuss methods of work and disposal. The Director of Health & Safety, the representative of the occupying department and the contractors will be invited. 3. It is the responsibility of the employing person within the University to employ contractors who have known experience and satisfactory performance. It is the contractor's responsibility to ensure that all their staff working in the area are properly trained and understand the precautions required. 4. It is the responsibility of the employing person within the University to supply a copy of this Code of Practice to every contractor employed in asbestos removal (if one has not been supplied already) and to require that the contractor be subject to and complies with this Code and with the Approved Code of Practice and Guidance Notes included at the back of this policy. 5. At the tender stage potential contractors must supply a method statement, explaining in specific terms relating to the particular job, what precautions would be taken. In accordance with the current regulations, the contractor selected will provide the necessary paperwork. 6. Before work commences, the Facilities Directorate will notify the intended start of work to the Head of Department and the Director of University in order that members of staff may be informed. 7. All practicable measures shall be taken to prevent release of asbestos into the environment. 8. So far as is reasonably practicable, no one shall work in the immediate vicinity during asbestos stripping other than those directly involved in the task. 9. It shall be part of any contract involving asbestos stripping that any contamination which occurs outside the asbestos removal enclosure must be cleaned up by the contractor, regardless of how much ordinary dirt was previously present in the affected area. 10. Stripped asbestos in bags should not be left unattended outside a building in such a way that it can easily be interfered with by vandals. It should be transferred to a locked enclosed skip or kept inside the restricted area until its time of removal from the site. 11. Arrangements for atmospheric sampling inside the enclosure before it is dismantled, and where necessary outside the enclosure after work starts, or after removal of the enclosure must be agreed in advance. 12. The contractor is required to supervise all these precautions. However, the employing person within the University is responsible for ensuring that the health and safety of others is not adversely affected by the asbestos work. He will arrange for the site to be visited before, during and after the job, to check that all necessary precautions have been taken. 13. Contractors will be expected to supply a copy of the record of examination of the enclosure on a daily basis to the Facilities Office, and it will be required that the daily inspection includes examination of all accessible adjacent areas for contamination. 6

7 14. It is the responsibility of the employing person within the University to ensure that the area is effectively cleaned up, and air clearance tests have been completed and test certificates produced before restrictions on access are removed. 15. The contract should state that a contractor has the responsibility for disposing of the asbestos in accordance with the law. 16. If any difficulties arise during the jobs in their implementation, these should be discussed without delay with the Facilities Directorate representative. 17. Contractors who are in breach of the official Code of Practice and Guidance Notes will be subject to a formal review of their performance before additional contracts are placed with them. This process may ultimately result in their removal from the list of approved contractors. 7

8 APPROVAL TO CARRY OUT WORKS INDEPENDENTLY To: The Assistant Director of Facilities (Estates & Buildings) Date PART A NOTIFICATION OF INTENT TO UNDERTAKE WORKS ASSOCIATED WITH THE STRUCTURE AND FABRIC OF THE BUILDING AND/OR INSTALL FITTINGS/SERVICES Department: Ref: Work to be Notified: Description of intended work (please complete a separate form for each project): Please enter details of the departmental contact responsible for administering the work Contact: Please attach any equipment specification, installation requirements or detailed plan of work to be carried out, if already available. Please attach a location plan to assist us in providing relevant guidance on the project. Please supply details of your preferred external contractor or supplier: Is this organisation vetted and approved by: The University (i.e. those on the approved list) The Department (i.e. those not on the approved list) Proposed start date: Applicant: (Block Capitals) or Are specifications attached?: Yes No Is a sketch plan attached?: Yes No Do the CDM Regs Apply?: Yes No Is the work being completed by a member of staff?: Yes No For department approved contractors only Please enter the contact name and telephone number of the person carrying out the vetting of the contractor. Name: Tel: Proposed completion date:.. Head of Departments s signature:. For Facilities Office Use Only Approved by: Authorisation letter sent: Date: Project Facilities Contact: 8

9 Guidelines for the Completion of FORM N1 1. This form is required for any disturbance to the structure and fabric of a University building. It is aimed for use by Computer Section in particular, but all Departments should be aware of the procedures. If you are in any doubt regarding the need for a form submission or if you need clarification on which details should be sent with the application, please contact Facilities Directorate for information and assistance. 2. Remember this form is only to be used if a person within the Department intends to commission works with a contractor directly. Any requests for the Facilities Directorate to carry out work should be made in writing separately or on Form WR1. 3. Please include suitable details with your application. Remember that this process has been set up to give some protection for Departments on the rare occasions they may carry out work independently either using their own staff or contractors. The Facilities Directorate cannot assess the safety implications of the proposed work without appropriate information. Please submit one form per scheme. 4. The Facilities Directorate shall send a written reply within 10 working days of receipt. This will either detail the approval conditions, or request further details to allow approval to be given. 5. When the work is approved, it is the responsibility of the Head of Department to ensure that all the conditions are complied with. Work must not start until written approval has been given. 9

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