Asbestos Management Plan. Policy Owner: Head of Repairs Policy Author: Alan Assheton Date adopted: Review Date: Purpose

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1 Asbestos Management Plan Policy Owner: Head of Repairs Policy Author: Alan Assheton Date adopted: Review Date: Purpose The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 places a duty on employers to take all reasonable steps to ensure that employees and non-employees are not exposed to risks to their health and safety. The risks could arise from the condition of premises or equipment or the way in which the employer undertakes their work. Of particular concern is managing the risk that may arise from the presence of asbestos containing materials in domestic premises (which includes the common parts of housing developments and blocks of flats). Medway Council recognises that it has a duty under Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 (CAR), to locate, assess, record, manage and monitor the asbestos containing materials in Medway s retained housing stock, including communal and ancillary areas such as garages and brick built sheds. Additionally, it recognises that it has a duty to provide information on the location and condition of asbestos in its premises to others undertaking works on its behalf. If asbestos containing materials are not disturbed, they are unlikely to release airborne fibres and therefore will not pose a risk to health. However, breathing airborne asbestos fibres could lead to asbestos related lung diseases, principally cancers. Those most at risk are building and maintenance technicians and operatives who may be unaware that they are disturbing an asbestos containing material. CAR Regulation 4 aims to reduce this risk by requiring the tracing of these materials and requiring information to be passed to those who may disturb them. Supporting Documents External: The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (as amended) Page 1 of 22

2 The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 (CAR) HSG 210 Asbestos Essentials HSG A Comprehensive Guide to Managing Asbestos in Premises HSG 264 The Survey Guide Medway Council will ensure that it has effective arrangements for managing asbestos in Council owned dwellings including communal & ancilliary areas such as garages & brick built sheds. To meet this, Medway Council will - Assign specific responsibility for managing asbestos risks in all Medway s retained housing stock, including communal and ancillary areas such as garages and brick built sheds. Establish procedures for managing asbestos in all such premises. Internal: Corporate Control of Asbestos Policy Asbestos in your home (information to tenants) Page 2 of 22

3 Contents: 1. PURPOSE Page 4 2. BACKGROUND TO ASBESTOS Page 5 3. ASBESTOS REGULATIONS Page 6 4. SCOPE AND RESPONSIBILITY Page 8 5. PROCEDURES Page 10 Identification of Asbestos Containing Materials Recording of Asbestos Information Communication of information Asbestos Management Actions Process flow chart 6. TRAINING Page 16 APPENDIX 1 Asbestos in your home leaflet Page 18 Page 3 of 22

4 1.0 PURPOSE 1.1 Introduction The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 places a duty on employers to take all reasonable steps to ensure that employees and non-employees are not exposed to risks to their health and safety. The risks could arise from the condition of premises or equipment or the way in which the employer undertakes their work. Of particular concern in this document is managing the risk that may arise from the presence of asbestos containing materials in domestic premises (which includes the common parts of housing developments and blocks of flats). 1.2 Aim of this Asbestos Management Plan The aim is to ensure that Medway Council has effective arrangements for managing asbestos in Medway s retained housing stock, including communal & ancillary areas such as garages & brick built sheds. To meet this aim, Medway Council will - Assign specific responsibility for managing asbestos risks in Medway s retained housing stock. Establish procedures for managing asbestos in all such premises. The above will discharge the general duty of care arising from The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (as amended). Page 4 of 22

5 2.0 BACKGROUND TO ASBESTOS Asbestos is the generic name given to a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals. The term is generally used in the United Kingdom to refer to three specific minerals. These are crocidolite, commonly referred to as 'blue asbestos', amosite, commonly referred to as 'brown asbestos' and chrysotile, commonly referred to as 'white asbestos'. Asbestos is a unique mineral. In its natural form the material is fibrous and has a high tensile strength this has meant that the material can be woven into a variety of products. The material can withstand chemical attack and will not degrade when heated unless temperatures exceed 1000 C. The proportion of asbestos found in asbestos based products for buildings ranges from 5 per cent to 100 per cent. The main uses in buildings including the following: Roofing tiles, felt, guttering Linings for walls, ceilings and doors Heat resistant panels for doors, stairways, ceilings, chutes, Thermal insulating panels and boards, Flooring materials, Lagging for boilers and pipes, Central heating ducts, Fire blankets, gloves, Infill panels, fascias, gas fire surrounds, sprayed application to steel work, Boiler houses for thermal insulation and fire protection. Page 5 of 22

6 3.0 THE CONTROL OF ASBESTOS REGULATIONS 2006 (CAR) These Regulations are supported by a number of Approved Codes of Practice (ACOP) with the requirements of Regulation 4 being set out in numerous published documents and on the HSE web site. HSE have also published some guidance on where Regulation 4 will apply, which confirms that the common areas of blocks of flats and sheltered housing schemes are within the scope of Regulation 4 and its' requirements therefore need to be adopted. More detailed guidance on Regulation 4 can be found in both HSG227, A comprehensive guide to managing asbestos and HSG 264 The Survey Guide published by the Health and Safety Executive. However, in its basic form Regulation 4 requires Duty Holders (The term used to define those in control of the premises) take the following steps: Identify asbestos materials through surveying by either sampling or presumption Record the presence of these materials and their condition Make this information available to those who may disturb the material Review the condition of the material on a regular basis. For management purposes, asbestos materials can be split into two defined groups: these are: Those where the use of a licensed asbestos contractor is necessary Those where a non-licensed contractor complying with the CAR 2006 can be employed. The difference between these materials is largely judged by the fibre release potential of the material when disturbed during removal operations. Only a very small proportion of Medway s housing stock is identified as requiring work by licensed contractors. 3.1 Licensed Materials These are products where the risk is deemed sufficiently high to warrant those who work upon these materials to hold a license issued by the HSE. Examples of licensed materials include; sprayed asbestos, asbestos insulations and asbestos insulating boards. All operatives involved with the work will need to be trained in accordance with Regulation 10 of CAR Some of the basic requirements in place for this type of work are the need to notify enforcing authorities prior to commencement of works, the need for enclosures to prevent fibre release, and the monitoring of the working environment during and following work. The processes in place for dealing with licensed materials are well established and documented and are recognised by those undertaking this level and type of work. Page 6 of 22

7 3.2 Non-Licensed Materials This group covers all others items that contain asbestos. Generally, these materials are of a lower risk but must still be treated with care, although the controls required are not as onerous as those for licensed asbestos materials. CAR 2006 within Regulation 10 has for the first time introduced specific training requirements for all of those who are involved in the removal of nonlicensed items. The changes implemented in CAR 2006 have meant that the materials based cut off between licensed and non-licensed work has been withdrawn and replaced with a definition based upon risk assessment. Examples of these products that can be treated as non-licensed are: Thermoplastic floor tile Sink mats, such as those often found on the underside of the kitchen sink Materials such as asbestos cement. Such as that found on garage roofs Textured ceilings such as Artex. It is important to ensure that non-licensed contractors undertake work in accordance with the requirements of CAR Medway Council only uses contractors that can demonstrate that they meet these requirements detailing the training undertaken within their own Asbestos Management Plan (AMP). Medway Council s main measured term contract (MTC) contractors has the capacity to carry out unlicensed asbestos work through their sub-contractor currently Shelfside. Licensed work is currently carried out through Pectel or AA Woods. Page 7 of 22

8 4.0 SCOPE AND RESPONSIBILITY 4.1 Scope This management plan applies throughout Medway s retained housing stock: Providing further detail on Medway Council s corporate principles including, organisational responsibilities, procedures and record keeping. Covers all: o Domestic premises including the common parts of premises such as sheltered housing, multi storey blocks and other blocks of flats / premises with common parts. o Employees, agency and contract staff (including subcontractors), tenants and their visitors, service users, visitors, and all other persons for whom Medway has a direct or relevant indirect responsibility for the purpose of protecting their health, so far as is reasonably practicable, when work is undertaken in premises to which they have access. Complying with this management plan will ensure that Medway Council fulfils its legal obligations under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and Regulation 4 of the CAR This management plan is intended as the minimum standard for the organisation to meet. The scope of this management plan does not include working on asbestos containing materials during maintenance/repair activities (which is covered by the contractors Asbestos Management Plan), or major refurbishments etc by contractors. (i.e. those matters covered in Regulations 6, 7 or 10 of the CAR and the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 except with regard to the provision of information, to those likely to be at risk, on the presence of asbestos, prior to any disturbance of the material. The Council has an obligation to ensure any contractor working on asbestos containing materials has an adequate AMP and all contractors have to submit their AMP to the Council or its agents for scrutiny before they are allowed to work on Council property. 4.2 Responsibilities The Assistant Director (Housing & Corporate Services) through their Divisional Management Team and advised by the Health and Safety Compliance Officer shall ensure that procedures for managing asbestos together with any duties or responsibilities delegated under the normal system of management are detailed within their Directorates and Team's health and safety arrangements. They will include the necessary procedures for: Surveying of property, Recording the location and condition of asbestos and presumed asbestos materials, Page 8 of 22

9 Assessing (and recording) the risk of anyone being exposed to these materials, Preparing a plan to manage the risk to ensure that: o Any known or presumed asbestos material is kept in good repair. o Material deemed to present a risk is, because of its condition or location, repaired, sealed/encapsulated or removed. o Information is given to those likely to be at risk. Understanding and fulfilling their responsibilities as Duty holder as defined in the CAR Senior Managers (ie Head of Landlord services) are responsible for ensuring that: This management plan is implemented throughout their teams. Adequate resources are made available for effective implementation. Team managers (ie Estate Services Manager and Senior Estate Warden) and their staff (ie Housing Officers and Estate Wardens) are provided with adequate levels of information, instruction training and supervision to ensure that they are competent to fulfil the duties / responsibilities delegated to them. The Head of Repairs and the Contract Manager are responsible for ensuring that: This management plan is implemented throughout Medway s retained housing stock. Adequate resources are made available for implementation of the plan. The day to day discharge of duties, including carrying out and coordination of their Section's or Team's procedures for meeting the requirements of Regulation 4 of the CAR. Liaison between their Sections or Teams, other Sections or Teams within Medway Council and external organisations and individuals (e.g. Main MTC contractor for housing repairs, various surveyors or other contractors, including Occupational Therapists) on issues relating to asbestos in premises. The Premises Manager (with regard to asbestos, the term Premises Manager, is that person that has the most day-to-day control of a premises and is sufficiently trained, eg Estate Warden, Surveyor or Inspector etc) will be responsible for: Ensuring that where control procedures such as the designation of a "Restricted Area" are initiated due to the poor condition of ACM's found on the premises, that the controls imposed are adopted and maintained until circumstances change through remedial or removal works. Any control procedures which have been assigned to them in the asbestos management plan, are followed. Page 9 of 22

10 5.0 PROCEDURES To fully discharge the duties imposed on Medway by the CAR 2006 arrangements are in place to identify and record the presence and condition of ACMs and to ensure that this information is available and readily accessible to all persons who may be at risk. 5.1 Identification of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) Prior to 2006 asbestos surveys were categorised under three types:- Type 1 Location and Assessment Survey (presumptive/visual only survey) Type 2 Standard Sampling Identification and Assessment Survey Type 3 Full Access/Sampling and Identification Survey Under CAR 2006 asbestos surveys are now categorised under two types 1 Management Surveys (as defined within Asbestos: The survey guide) A visual inspection, equivalent to the old Type 1 survey. 2 Refurbishment and Demolition Surveys (as defined within Asbestos: The survey guide) This level of inspection is similar to the Management Survey but it builds on the minimum requirements of assessment to comply with the duty to manage asbestos and where suspect materials are identified, these will be sampled to determine if they have an asbestos content and the level of risk will be derived from the material type, condition, location and potential for damage or disturbance. In 2005 Medway Council commissioned Type 1 surveys through an external consultant ACE (Asbestos Consultant to the Environment) to almost all (only 30No. non-access) of its housing stock, this included communal areas to flats but not any garages or out buildings. The purpose of these surveys was to locate as far as is reasonably practicable, the presence and extent of any suspect ACMs in a building and assess their condition. This was done by a visual inspection of the building to identify materials that may contain asbestos and the condition of that material. At the time of these surveys minimal sampling was undertaken and most of the suspect materials were identified as asbestos presumed. This type of survey deferred the need to carry out extensive sampling and analysis for asbestos until such time as the material was likely to be disturbed. Before any works are undertaken which may disturb suspected ACMs whether through responsive and planned repairs, voids or capital works (including the Decent Homes programme) further samples are taken to supplement the Type 1 survey to identify whether asbestos is actually present. Any identified ACMs may be encapsulated to prevent release of fibres or removed completely by an appropriately qualified contractor. Page 10 of 22

11 Any asbestos identified by the surveys and sampling that is rated as high risk is removed, and by the end of September 2010 Medway will have removed all identified high risk ACMs from its housing stock Responsive sampling as described above is relatively expensive and admin intensive no operations can take place until test results have been obtained which causes delays to works and adversely affects repairs and voids targets. A full Refurbishment and Demolition survey appropriate to the works likely to take place within the housing stock, which would include up to 10 samples is cheaper than taking two individual responsive samples and once completed there will be a detailed and robust register for a property which can be referred to as soon as works are required and will in most cases negate the need for further sampling avoiding the associated costs and delays. Where operations require asbestos sampling and testing to take place Medway is now commissioning a new survey and full sampling. This is taking place on the second phase Decent Homes programme and where required for responsive repairs and voids. A programme of surveys, sampling and testing will continue over the next 5 years until Medway has a complete database. The information will be held on Swordfish and direct access to the information will be given to the main repairs and maintenance contractor (currently Mears) and other key contractors that need access to the information on a regular basis. Where it is not possible to access any part of a building to determine the potential asbestos risk, then all such materials within those areas must be presumed to contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence from plans, specifications or other records that none is present. Common areas of our sheltered housing schemes, multi-storey blocks, and walk-up flats are subject to heavy foot traffic from residents, visitors deliveries etc and there is a potential for any otherwise safe and encapsulated ACMs such as painted asbestos panels to partitions to be subject to wear and tear and degradation. These areas need to be checked on a regular basis to monitor the condition of the ACMs and Estate Wardens will carry out a formal visual inspection every year with the results being recorded. In addition an independent survey will be carried out every 5 years and this is due in the 2010/2011 financial year. Whilst the Estate Wardens only carry out a formal inspection once a year they will be familiar with the sites and any damage or deterioration they observe between inspections will be reported to the repairs team and the appropriate action to remove or encapsulate the ACM will be taken. 5.2 Recording of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) There is a duty to record the presence and condition of any known ACMs in a readily accessible form, so that such information can be made available to protect staff, partnering contractors, tenants, residents and visitors from risks to health. Page 11 of 22

12 All information from the surveys carried out by ACE in 2005 is held on the Asbestos Management Suite (AMS) which is an external database managed by ACE on behalf of Medway. The AMS database has subsequently been updated with details from all sampling completed by ACE and details of any asbestos removed as a result of reactive maintenance by Pectel Ltd. This database is accessible to those who manage or order the work being carried out on behalf of Medway Council, such as the repairs team, Customer First & Medway s control centre but is not directly available to contractors including Medway s measured term contract (MTC) contractor Mears. The results of samples and tests completed as part of the first phase Decent Homes programme to approximately 1700 properties and details of any asbestos removed including all certificates was supplied by the two contractors UHL and Mears on CD and has been transferred on to the shared drive Currently two databases need to be checked before accurate information can be given to contractors, therefore for more effective management of asbestos information and for greater accessibility, the Council will be transferring all information to a Council run database (swordfish which is linked to academy) which will be directly accessible by the MTC contractor. The Housing Asset and Contract Monitoring Officer, or the Customer First team will be able to make this information available to other contractors or direct access can be given if a key contractor needs to view the information on a regular basis. The system is currently being trialled with the first tranche of new surveys being uploaded in November 2010 and it is intended to transfer all asbestos information to the new database by December 2011 This database will be maintained and updated by the repairs team 5.3 Communication of Information The aim of Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 is principally to protect workers in the building and allied trades who may come across asbestos in the course of their work. Medway also has a duty of care, under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, to safeguard the health and safety of their employees, tenants and all others who may be affected by their undertakings. It is essential therefore that any asbestos risk information is communicated to those who may be at risk and this is done as follows; Page 12 of 22

13 Decent Homes Programme Work, Capital and Planned Works The AMS database is interrogated for information regarding properties within the programme in the event of inadequate information; a complete range of samples is taken across the property, to update the database. The Principal Contractor, then accesses the information to determine the necessary control measures. Under this program, any asbestos bearing floor tiles will be removed from kitchens or bathrooms to the nearest door/threshold. Other asbestos found under this program will be risk assessed by Medway Council and a risk based decision made on its treatment. Responsive Repair Activity The MTC contractor currently obtains information from the Asset Management and Contract Monitoring Officer and the information is therefore only available during normal working hours. The contractor s operatives all have asbestos awareness training and if out of hours works are required for instance where there is a water leak coming through a ceiling which has a textured coating presumed to contain asbestos, the source of the problem will be rectified and the works related to the potential ACM deferred until the asbestos data base has been accessed and/or new samples taken. As detailed in section 5.2 above the database is in the process of being updated to enable direct access by the MTC contractor and this will be available 24/7. Inspectors All Medway surveyors have access to the database via the Asset Management and Contract Monitoring Officer and will, as part of the risk assessment process prior to undertaking survey activity, confirm the potential for disturbing any known ACMs during the course of their on site work. Persons in Control of Premises It is essential that this group of persons are in possession of the asbestos register information for the property under their control and this will be in the form of a specific report produced from the computer database. The contents of the asbestos register will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that any changes to information held centrally within the database are consistent with that held physically on site. This information will be passed onto visiting contractors, emergency services and should educate any decisions on minor repair activity under their control. Page 13 of 22

14 Tenants, Residents and Right to Buys In response to the duty of care owed by Medway to the above group, a leaflet 'Asbestos in Your Home' has been provided in the Tenants Handbook which has been issued to all new Medway tenants. This contains appropriate explanatory asbestos information and officer contact details, should tenants have any concerns over suspect materials in their homes and confirms the management actions, such as regular review and inspection regimes, that Medway have in place to ensure their safety. Medway also respond to specific requests for more detailed asbestos Information, within individual property addresses, by producing relevant reports extracted from the asbestos database. A tenant s request tidy up process, with new surveys can send them the drawing. It is understood that the provision of such information must be handled in a sensitive and measured way so that individuals are not unduly alarmed and understand that asbestos, in good condition, will do no harm if left undisturbed. Such information will automatically be passed onto any person buying their property along with the other statutory relevant information. Information Requests Both AMS & Academy/Swordfish database are capable of providing reports in response to enquiries from councillors, board members, officers etc. and these can be specific to individual addresses, blocks, streets, estates, wards or panel areas. 5.4 Asbestos Management Actions ACMs should be managed in the most appropriate manner and removal is not always the best option as wholesale removal can often create the potential for greater asbestos fibre release than would be the case if undamaged material was left in situ and monitored. Removal may also unnecessarily cause consequential distress, disturbance and inconvenience to our tenants. In relation to its housing stock Medway Council therefore: Manages any identifiable asbestos risk through a regime of regular reinspections, educated by the relevant risk category. Responds to any reports of previously unknown suspect material Responds to any asbestos related incidents. Removes or encapsulates any ACMs that pose a health risk as a result of programmed decent homes improvement work, future planned maintenance, voids or capital projects. Labels any ACMs within secure plant rooms, lift motor rooms, boiler rooms. Does not label asbestos within dwellings, as information to tenants is considered adequate. Page 14 of 22

15 Removes asbestos containing textured coatings in the event of ceilings with these ACMs being damaged rather than boarding over the damaged area. Removes rather than encapsulates broken vinyl floor tiles, which contain asbestos rather than encapsulating. Ensures that all tenants are asbestos aware by distributing housing specific asbestos information and guidance leaflets (see appendix 1) to all existing residents and includes this information in the welcome pack for all new residents. Page 15 of 22

16 5.5 Process Flow Chart Request for information, or work required on Medway retained housing stock AMS OR Academy/Swordfish database interrogated Information adequate, information passed to enquirer, OR work commences Information inadequate, enquirer advised further sampling required, further sampling ordered, OR Work held until information available. Information becomes available information passed to enquirer, OR work commences Information obtained from previous step is used to update the database Page 16 of 22

17 6.0 TRAINING It is critical to the effective management of ACMs that certain key individuals within Medway are appropriately trained or accredited for the work and responsibilities entrusted to them. As such the following stakeholders have been identified as requiring appropriate levels of training to evidence competency: Responsible Person (for asbestos) within Medway Persons in control of premises o Sheltered Scheme Managers o Estate Wardens o Housing Officers Adaptations staff Inspectors Contractors Responsible Person (for asbestos) within Medway Housing: As previously mentioned this position is currently held by The Assistant Director (Housing & Corporate Services), supported by the Head of Repairs and the Health and Safety Compliance Officer and they are aware of the duties placed upon Medway Council under their stewardship. Further awareness training will be given to them and fellow members of the Executive Management Team, should this be required in response to any future legislative changes. Awareness training is already given through the Departmental Management Team (DMT). Persons in Control of Premises: Basic asbestos awareness training has already been delivered to the Scheme Managers of Medway sheltered housing schemes, Estate Wardens for multi-storey blocks and to Housing Officers. Sheltered scheme managers hold a 'building log book that contains, amongst other essential maintenance information, the asbestos register information for the property under their direct control. This will then be made available to any visiting contractors and to members of the emergency services, should the need arise. Additional training will be regularly delivered to reinforce their responsibilities and the manner in which they must be discharged. The intention is not, however, to turn them into experts in asbestos but rather equip them with the necessary tools to contribute to the safe management of asbestos and the expectations of their knowledge and how it is to be exercised will be reinforced. Page 17 of 22

18 Adaptations Staff Before disability adaptations are implemented in the retained housing stock, the Asset Management and Contract Monitoring Officer is consulted as to the status of asbestos in the property. Adaptations staff are aware of the requirement to interrogate the asbestos database before commissioning any work. Inspectors Inspectors within Medway generally have an adequate knowledge of the risks posed by asbestos and have received basic awareness training. They also appreciate how and where they fit into the asbestos management plan and how to access appropriate sources of internal competent advice. Contractors: Attention has already been drawn (in 3.1 and 3.2) to the two categories of work applied to asbestos removal or treatment, these being licensed and nonlicensed work. Whichever category any work falls within, all operatives involved with the work have to be trained in accordance with the requirements of regulation 10 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations All contractors engaged by Medway, to work with asbestos, have to comply with this requirement and their safe working methods and work on site are regularly audited to ensure compliance, both by their contract supervision, contract Health and Safety Manager & Medway Councils Housing Health and Safety Compliance Officer. The Health and safety Compliance officer will regularly review training requirements for all Medway staff and obtain up to date compliance information from all contractors Page 18 of 22

19 APPENDIX 1 Asbestos in your Home Information Page 19 of 22

20 Asbestos in your home If your property is more than 15 years old, it is possible that it contains materials made from asbestos. Asbestos fibres are strong and resistant to heat and chemicals. In the past, this led to their use in a wide range of building materials and products. Properties built since the mid-1980s are very unlikely to contain asbestos in the fabric of the building. Properties built after 1990 are extremely unlikely to contain asbestos anywhere in the building. Asbestos cement has been widely used as a cladding material and can still be found in garages and sheds. If you are a council tenant, Medway Council will inspect any areas that you may be concerned about, and if appropriate, employ a specialist contractor to remove the asbestos. Why is asbestos potentially a problem? All materials containing asbestos can be harmful if fibres are inhaled. In recent years a number of alternative or substitute products have been developed. What is asbestos? Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral made up of many small fibres. There are three main types. Day to day exposure to asbestos The Health and Safety Executive confirms that there is a very low level of fibres in the air everywhere because asbestos has been used so extensively in the past. Exposure to this low level of fibres is unlikely to harm people s health. However, high, short-term exposure to asbestos fibres can occur during do-ityourself work. For this reason, try not to raise dust when working with materials which might contain asbestos and avoid sanding or drilling. If in doubt, do not touch it. Where will you find asbestos products or materials in your home? It is not always easy to tell whether a product contains asbestos, as modern asbestos-free materials often look similar. Remember it is usually older products that contain asbestos. Page 20 of 22

21 The following areas and appliances are where asbestos may be found: domestic equipment; asbestos lagging; warm air heating systems; insulating boards; sprayed asbestos; asbestos cement; textured plasters; materials for stippling ceilings, walls, etc. How do you know if a material contains asbestos? Identifying asbestos products can be difficult but if you think a product contains asbestos but are unsure, the manufacturer or supplier should be able to help you. Alternatively, contact Medway Council using the information given below. Remember, products containing asbestos can look very similar to those not containing asbestos - if in doubt seek advice. What should you do about asbestos in your home? Do not panic if you have asbestos materials in your home. Remember, if the asbestos materials are in good condition, removal should not be necessary and disturbance of such materials by non-specialists could in fact cause more risk to your or your family's health. Contact the council who will engage a specialist contractor to carry out the work on any notifiable asbestos materials. Do not disturb asbestos materials under any circumstances. If you are in any doubt, contact the Housing Management Support Team on Dos and don ts when carrying out DIY: If you suspect that you have asbestos materials in your home, extra care should be taken when doing DIY. Do not attempt work on sprayed asbestos, lagging or insulating boards, as this must be undertaken by a licensed asbestos removal contractor. If in doubt, seek advice. Do not drill, cut or disturb asbestos. Do not scrape or sand asbestos materials before painting and decorating. Some types of asbestos materials are very soft and can release large numbers of fibres if rubbed or scraped. Page 21 of 22

22 Where can you get further advice? Further information and advice on asbestos is available from a number of sources. You can contact Medway s Housing Management Support Team on You could consult your general practitioner or health board if you are concerned about your own health or the health of a member of your family and think that you or they have been exposed to asbestos. The basic rule is, if in doubt ask Medway Council is here to help. Page 22 of 22

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