Asbestos: The licensed contractors guide

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1 Health ad Safety Asbestos: The licesed cotractors guide Asbestos: The licesed cotractors guide Health ad Safety This is a free-to-dowload, web-friedly versio of HSG247 (First editio, published 2006). This versio has bee adapted for olie use from HSE s curret prited versio. You ca buy the book at ad most good bookshops. ISBN Price This book replaces most earlier HSE guidace o licesed asbestos removal work. It is aimed at busiesses holdig a licece to work with asbestos, either repairig or removig asbestos-cotaiig materials (ACMs), supervisig such work, holdig a acillary licece or providig traiig o asbestos. Employers who carry out work with asbestos isulatio, asbestos coatig, ad asbestos isulatig board usig their ow employees o their ow premises, who are exempted from the requiremet to hold a licece, also eed this guidace. It will also be useful to people awardig cotracts for such work or who have other asbestos maagemet duties. The guidace is split ito eight chapters, coverig differet aspects of licesed work with ACMs. It provides a overview of asbestos ad its health effects, the law ad how to work safely with asbestos. HSE Books Page 1 of 181

2 Health ad Safety Crow copyright 2006 First published 2006 ISBN All rights reserved. No part of this publicatio may be reproduced, stored i a retrieval system, or trasmitted i ay form or by ay meas (electroic, mechaical, photocopyig, recordig or otherwise) without the prior writte permissio of the copyright ower. Applicatios for reproductio should be made i writig to: The Office of Public Sector Iformatio, Iformatio Policy Team, Kew, Richmod, Surrey TW9 4DU or This guidace is issued by the Health ad Safety. Followig the guidace is ot compulsory ad you are free to take other actio. But if you do follow the guidace you will ormally be doig eough to comply with the law. Health ad safety ispectors seek to secure compliace with the law ad may refer to this guidace as illustratig good practice. Page 2 of 181

3 Health ad Safety Cotets List of abbreviatios 4 Workig with ACMS: Guidace map 5 Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 A itroductio to workig with asbestos-cotaiig materials (ACMs) 7 Liceces for work with ACMs 28 Risk assessmets, plas of work ad otificatios for work with ACMs 38 Traiig for employees, supervisors ad others workig with ACMs 54 PPE for work with ACMs 75 Eclosures for work with ACMs 87 Cotrolled techiques for the removal ad repair of ACMs, icludig waste disposal 111 Decotamiatio 156 Refereces ad further iformatio 178 Asbestos: The licesed cotractors guide Page 3 of 181

4 Health ad Safety List of abbreviatios ACAD Asbestos Cotrol ad Abatemet Divisio (see Appedix 1.1) ACOP Approved Code of Practice ACM Asbestos-cotaiig material AIB Asbestos isulatig board ALG Asbestos liaiso group ALH Acillary licese holder ALPI Asbestos Licesig Pricipal Ispector ALU Asbestos Licesig Uit ARCA Asbestos Removal Cotractors Associatio (see Appedix 1.1) ATAC Asbestos Testig ad Cosultig (see Appedix 1.1) ASLIC Asbestos Licesig Regulatios 1983 BA Breathig apparatus BOHS British Occupatioal Hygiee Society (see Appedix 1.1) CABA Compressed airlie breathig apparatus CAWR Cotrol of Asbestos at Work Regulatios 2002 CDG Carriage of Dagerous Goods ad Use of Trasportable Pressure Receptacles Regulatios 2004 CDM Costructio (Desig ad Maagemet) Regulatios 1994 COSHH Cotrol of Substaces Hazardous to Health Regulatios 2002 (as ameded) CSCS Costructio Skills Certificatio scheme DCU Decotamiatio uit (also called Hygiee facilities ad Hygiee uit ) DOP Dioctyl phthalate (test) EA Eviromet Agecy EMAS Employmet Medical Advisory Service HSE Health ad Safety HSWA The Health ad Safety at Work etc Act 1974 IEE Istitutio of Electrical Egieers LARC Licesed asbestos removal cotractor LEV Local exhaust vetilatio LPG Liquid petroleum gas MCG Mai Cotractors Group NPU Negative pressure uit NVQ Natioal Vocatioal Qualificatio PAS Publicly Available Specificatio PF Protectio factor POW Pla of work PPE Persoal protective equipmet PVA Polyviyl acetate PVC Polyviyl chloride RA Risk assessmet RCD Residual curret device RPE Respiratory protective equipmet SCBA Self-cotaied breathig apparatus SEPA Scottish Eviromet Protectio Agecy SLH Supervisory licese holder TNA Traiig eeds aalysis TWA Time weighted average UKAS Uited Kigdom Accreditatio Service Asbestos: The licesed cotractor s guide Page 4 of 181

5 Health ad Safety Workig with ACMS: Guidace map This Guidace map provides a quick referece guide to specific topics ad key issues i this guide. The items are idetified by paragraph umbers. Plaig for asbestos removal work Topic Key issues Referece Licece to work Whe is a licece required? Paras with asbestos Types of liceces Paras How to obtai a licece Paras Eforcemet Paras Asbestos Hirig of employees Paras removal workers Cosultatio with employees Paras Traiig Paras ad Appedices Medical surveillace Paras Persoal exposure moitorig Paras Respiratory protective Selectio Paras equipmet Fit testig Paras Care ad maiteace Paras Coveralls Selectio ad use Paras Lauderig Paras Plaig for Risk assessmets Paras asbestos work Pla of work Paras Notificatios/waivers Paras Site preparatio Paras Paperwork required o site Para 3.45 Stadard of equipmet Box 7.1 Eclosures Eclosures: Whe required Paras Costructio Paras Desig Paras Site preparatio ad pre-clea Paras Negative pressure uits Paras Testig ad moitorig Paras Smoke tests Paras Viewig paels Para 6.23 Air moitorig Para 6.56 Dismatlig ad disposal Paras Emergecy procedures Paras Asbestos Pre-cleaig Paras removal/repair Strippig techiques Paras Cleaig ad waste disposal Paras Four-stage clearace Paras Asbestos: The licesed cotractor s guide Page 5 of 181

6 Health ad Safety Decotamiatio Types of decotamiatio uit Paras Desig criteria for decotamiatio uits Appedix 8.1 Procedures Paras ad Figures Decotamiatio uit services Para Maiteace ad cleaig Paras Showerig ad lauderig Paras Clearace of decotamiatio uit Paras Asbestos: The licesed cotractor s guide Page 6 of 181

7 Health ad Safety Chapter 1: A itroductio to workig with asbestoscotaiig materials (ACMs) Summary Asbestos exposure causes severe ad fatal diseases. Oly work o asbestos if absolutely ecessary. Asbestos work should be strictly cotrolled ad comply with the legislatio. Poorly cotrolled work will produce very high fibre levels. Asbestos medical examiatios are required whe exposure exceeds the actio level for asbestos fibres. Asbestos: The licesed cotractor s guide Page 7 of 181

8 Health ad Safety Cotets Itroductio 9 About this guidace 9 Who is the guidace for? 10 How to use this guidace 10 Cosultig employees 10 Health effects ad exposure 11 What are asbestos diseases? 11 Workig practices ad exposure 13 Air moitorig 14 Legal requiremets 16 The Cotrol of Asbestos at Work Regulatios The Asbestos (Licesig) Regulatios 1983 (as ameded) 18 Maagemet of asbestos 18 Is asbestos removal ecessary? 18 Medical examiatio of asbestos removal workers uder CAWR 2002 Status of the medical examiatio ad certificate of examiatio 19 Risk assessmet of the work coditios 19 Whe is a medical required? 20 How ofte is the medical examiatio carried out? 20 The purpose of the examiatio 20 Who carries out the medical examiatio? 20 The cotet of the medical examiatio 21 Certificate of examiatio Appedix 1.1 Materials idetified as cotaiig asbestos 22 Appedix 1.2 Sprayed asbestos coatigs ad pipe ad vessel isulatio i poor coditio 23 Appedix 1.3 AIB ad isulatig blocks i poor coditio Appedix 1.4 Other asbestos materials i poor coditio Appedix 1.5 Further iformatio 26 Asbestos: The licesed cotractor s guide Page 8 of 181

9 Health ad Safety Itroductio About this guidace 1.1 This guidace publicatio covers work with asbestos, which requires a licece uder the Asbestos (Licesig) Regulatios 1983 (as ameded). 1 HSE guidace o o-licesed asbestos work is cotaied i other publicatios, Asbestos essetials task maual: Task guidace sheets for the buildig maiteace ad allied trades 2 ad Workig with asbestos cemet. 3 This licesed cotractors guidace is split ito eight chapters, coverig i detail, differet aspects of licesed work with asbestos-cotaiig materials (ACMs). These chapters are: Chapter 1: A itroductio to workig with ACMs (this chapter) Chapter 2: Liceces for work with ACMs Chapter 3: Risk assessmets, plas of work ad otificatios for work with ACMs Chapter 4: Traiig for employees, supervisors ad others workig with ACMs Chapter 5: PPE for work with ACMs Chapter 6: Eclosures for work with ACMs Chapter 7: Cotrolled techiques for the removal ad repair of ACMs, icludig waste disposal Chapter 8: Decotamiatio Box 1.1 Key facts about asbestos Asbestos-related diseases kill more people tha ay other sigle work-related illess. Asbestos-related diseases ca take years to develop ad there is o cure. Asbestos-related diseases are curretly resposible for more tha 4000 deaths a year i the UK ad the umber is still icreasig. ACMs i good coditio ad left udisturbed caot cause ill health. The greater the disturbace of ACMs (see Figure 1.1) ad the loger the duratio, the greater the risk to health. Effective cotrol of exposure ca oly be achieved if techiques that miimise fibre geeratio have bee used, i particular wet strippig. Power-assisted respirators provide isufficiet protectio whe removal is ucotrolled, eg durig dry strippig. 1.2 This itroductio covers the geeral priciples of asbestos ad its licesed removal. It provides a overview of asbestos ad its health effects, the law ad how to work safely with asbestos. 1.3 This guidace replaces ad cosolidates ito oe documet, most HSE guidace o licesed asbestos removal work. The publicatios replaced by this documet are: Cotrolled asbestos strippig techiques for work requirig a licece (HSG189/1) Selectio of suitable respiratory protective equipmet for work with asbestos (INDG288(rev1)) Asbestos: The licesed cotractor s guide Page 9 of 181

10 Health ad Safety The provisio, use ad maiteace of hygiee facilities for work with asbestos isulatio, asbestos coatig ad asbestos isulatig board (EH47 (Third editio)) Traiig operatives ad supervisors for work with asbestos isulatio, asbestos coatig ad asbestos isulatig board (EH50) Eclosures provided for work with asbestos isulatio, coatigs ad isulatig board (EH51) Who is the guidace for? 1.4 Ay busiess holdig a licece to work with asbestos, eg either repairig or removig ACMs, supervisig such work, carryig out acillary activities, supplyig labour or who provide traiig o asbestos must read this guidace. It is also essetial for employers carryig out work with asbestos isulatio, asbestos coatig, ad asbestos isulatig board (AIB) usig their ow employees o their ow premises, who are exempted from the requiremet to hold a licece (see paragraph 2.4). It may also be beeficial to those who award cotracts for such work or have other asbestos maagemet duties. Figure 1.1 Asbestos fibres beig released from laggig How to use this guidace 1.5 This guidace should be used as a referece, coverig all aspects of licesed work with ACMs. Each of the chapters covers a broad topic area, eg traiig, ad has its ow cotets list. You ca go direct to the chapter you eed ad use the cotets list to avigate that chapter. Where appedices are used for a particular topic, these are kept withi the relevat chapter. 1.6 This itroductory chapter also cotais a overview of the complete process, from licece applicatio through to waste disposal. This overview provides refereces for all topics, allowig you to avigate easily to specific topics, eg the four-stage clearace procedure. This overview also acts as a quick referece, showig key issues at a glace. 1.7 If you still eed help after readig this guidace, Appedix 1.5 cotais details of orgaisatios that may be able to provide further advice ad expertise. Cosultig employees 1.8 Proper cosultatio with those who do the work is crucial to help raise awareess of the importace of health ad safety. It ca make a sigificat cotributio to creatig ad maitaiig a safe ad healthy workig eviromet ad a effective health ad safety culture. I tur this ca beefit the busiess by makig it more efficiet by reducig the umber of accidets ad the icidets of work-related ill health. Ivolvig operatives i decisio-makig ca improve the quality of the job ad reduce exposures 1.9 It is importat that employees ad employee or safety represetatives are ivolved i the assessmet ad plaig process. Employees will provide more accurate iformatio o the actual work methods used ad o the feasibility of ew proposals. For example, if proposed work methods are difficult or cumbersome, employees may take short cuts that lead to a deterioratio i cotrol. Settig urealistic timescales for cotracts may also result i workers takig less care whe workig with asbestos. Employees geerally have greater acceptace of work methods if they have bee part of the decisio-makig process It is particularly importat that the wearers of respiratory protective equipmet (RPE) are ivolved i the selectio process ad, where practicable, are provided with a choice of suitable equipmet. This helps to esure it is suited Asbestos: The licesed cotractor s guide Page 10 of 181

11 Health ad Safety to them ad icreases the chaces that they will accept the RPE ad wear it correctly Safety represetatives, where appoited by recogised trade uios uder the Safety Represetatives ad Safety Committees Regulatios 1977, 4 must be cosulted. Safety represetatives ca play a crucial role i health ad safety i the workplace. They ca brig ideas ad experieces from outside the employer s orgaisatio (eg as a result of trade uio traiig). They also form a lik betwee the workers ad maagemet. The presece of safety represetatives i the workplace has bee show to cut the major accidet rate by more tha 50%. Other employees ot covered by such represetatives must be cosulted, either directly or idirectly via elected represetatives of employee safety, accordig to the Health ad Safety (Cosultatio with Employees) Regulatios This will allow employees or their represetatives to help develop suitable ad adequate cotrol measures. More iformatio o employers duties uder these regulatios is cotaied i the free HSE leaflet Cosultig employees o health ad safety: A guide to the law. 6 Health effects ad exposure What are asbestos diseases? 1.12 Breathig i asbestos fibres ca lead to asbestos-related diseases, which kill more people tha ay other sigle work-related illess. The diseases ca take may years to develop - so you ad your employees will ot be immediately aware of a chage i someoe s health after breathig i asbestos Asbestos ca cause two mai types of damage i humas: cacer, eg mesothelioma or lug cacer; ad fibrous thickeig of the lug, asbestosis. Other diseases, such as pleural plaques, are less serious as they are ot disablig. Mesothelioma ad lug cacer are severely disablig ad most result i death. Severe asbestosis ca cotribute to death. Figure 1.2 shows ormal healthy lug tissues. Figures 1.3, 1.4 ad 1.5 show lug tissue from lugs of workers overexposed to asbestos. These coditios, which are described below, ca be preveted by good workig practices as outlied i this guidace. Figure 1.2 Normal lug Figure 1.3 Heavy Figure 1.4 Lug cacer Figure 1.5 Mesothelioma exposure to asbestos due to asbestos exposure Asbestos-related diseases kill more people tha ay other sigle work-related illess Asbestos: The licesed cotractor s guide Page 11 of 181

12 Health ad Safety There is o cure for asbestos-related diseases What is asbestosis? 1.14 Asbestosis is a scarrig of the lug tissue which restricts breathig, leadig to decreased lug volume ad icreased resistace i the airways. It is a slowly progressive disease with a latecy period depedet o the magitude of exposure. What is mesothelioma? 1.15 Mesothelioma is a cacer of the cells that make up the liig aroud the outside of the lugs ad iside of the ribs (pleura), or aroud the abdomial orgas (peritoeum). By the time it is diagosed, it is almost always fatal. Similar to other asbestos-related diseases, mesothelioma usually has a log latecy period averagig years. However there are cases where the latecy period has bee much shorter (aroud 15 years). There is o kow safe threshold of exposure, therefore as the frequecy, duratio ad level of exposure icreases, so does the risk of developig mesothelioma. What is lug cacer? 1.16 Lug cacer is a maligat tumour of the lugs air passages. The tumour grows through surroudig tissue, ivadig ad ofte obstructig air passages. The time betwee exposure to asbestos ad the occurrece of lug cacer is o average years. There is a syergistic effect betwee smokig ad asbestos exposure. If you smoke ad are exposed to asbestos, your risk of developig lug cacer is greatly icreased. Exposure to asbestos ad smokig multiplies the risk of developig lug cacer What are the symptoms? 1.17 Each of these asbestos-related diseases ca oly be diagosed through medical examiatios ad tests. Exposure to asbestos does ot mea that these diseases will develop. However, the greater the exposure, the greater the risk of cotractig them The symptoms of asbestos-related diseases will usually ot become apparet for several decades after exposure. They may iclude: shortess of breath; a cough or a chage i cough patter; blood i the sputum (fluid) coughed up from the lugs; pai i the chest or abdome; difficulty i swallowig or prologed hoarseess; ad/or sigificat weight loss. Figure 1.6 Cotrolled removal of asbestos 1.19 Oce the asbestos-related disease has bee diagosed, the idividual is left with the prospect of a debilitatig impact o their health or evetual death. Therefore exposures should always be preveted or miimised to the lowest level reasoably practicable to reduce the risk of ill health later i life. Reduce exposures ow to prevet ill health i the future Asbestos: The licesed cotractor s guide Page 12 of 181

13 Health ad Safety Figure 1.7 Ucotrolled removal of asbestos Asbestos should oly be worked o if absolutely ecessary Ucotrolled removal of asbestos costs lives Usig cotrolled methods of removal saves lives Workig practices ad exposure 1.20 There are three mai types of asbestos which have bee commoly used: crocidolite ( blue ); amosite ( brow ); chrysotile ( white ) All types of asbestos are dagerous but crocidolite ad amosite asbestos are kow to be more hazardous tha chrysotile. The asbestos types are ofte referred to by their colour. But, it is very difficult to idetify them by colour. Colour ad appearace ca be affected i may ways, icludig by heat ad chemicals, mixig with other substaces ad through paitig or coatig Although asbestos is a hazardous material, it ca oly pose a risk to health if the asbestos fibres become airbore ad are the ihaled. ACMs oly release fibres ito the air whe they are disturbed. Also, the greater the disturbace of the ACM durig removal, the greater the risk to health. Cotrolled strippig techiques reduce exposure ad therefore the risk of ill health ad death (see Figures 1.6 ad 1.7). Factors affectig exposure are listed i Box The umber of asbestos fibres i air is affected by may factors. A estimate of the expected cocetratio of asbestos fibres i air ca be made by cosiderig: the type of asbestos (crocidolite ad amosite are more friable tha chrysotile); the asbestos product (sprayed coatig ad laggig are more friable ad loose ad crumbly tha others); how the material will be worked o (ie type of tools); how roughly the material will eed to be treated to do the job; how much of it will be worked o; how log it will be worked o; how effective the cotrol measures at source are i reducig the spread of dust ad cocetratios of asbestos fibres i air; other available iformatio (eg past exposure moitorig records for similar circumstaces; iformatio i Tables 1.1 ad 1.2); past experiece ad kowledge which are relevat to the work i questio; ad a allowace for short-term uexpected high exposures. RPE should be used to complemet cotrolled strippig techiques ad ot i place of them. Ucotrolled removal of asbestos (see paragraph 7.68) will geerate airbore fibre cocetratios beyod the protectio provided by ay power-assisted respirator Asbestos: The licesed cotractor s guide Page 13 of 181

14 Health ad Safety Box 1.2 Some idicators of high exposure/poor cotrol (this list is ot exhaustive) Work methods Durig removal, dry patches of isulatio are foud. Material i asbestos waste sacks is ot doughy, but hard ad crumbles whe squeezed through the bag. Excessive breakage to AIB sheets. The ier surface of the viewig pael is dusty. Heavily lade pre-filter o the egative pressure uit (NPU). Excessive dust/debris o high level surfaces. Excessive loose waste stored i the eclosure. Poor stadard of equipmet o site, (eg o-adjustable wet strippig eedles). Evidece of equipmet used icorrectly (eg decotamiatio uit (DCU) ot coected, isufficiet wettig fluid). Workers Workers with facial stubble (where face fit is importat). Evidece of cotamiatio o trasitig workers. Evidece of cotamiatio o trasit/waste routes. Evidece of cotamiatio i the DCU. Decotamiatio time too quick. Eclosure itegrity Eclosure sheetig shows little sig of egative pressure. Sheetig i poor state (holes, tape liftig etc). Airlocks i poor state (flaps icorrectly positioed, taped up). No or isufficiet iward movemet of air. Poor set up of cotrols (eg NPU) ext to the airlocks, causig short-circuitig of air. Uweighted airlock flaps. Trasit airlock ad baglock ope at same time. Air moitorig 1.24 Regulatio 18 of the Cotrol of Asbestos at Work Regulatios 2002 (CAWR) 7 requires the measuremet of employee exposure at regular itervals ad where a chage occurs that may affect that exposure. This air moitorig is required to show: that cotrol measures (eg wet strippig) are effective ad beig properly used; ad that the RPE wor is sufficiet to provide adequate protectio (ie i additio to primary cotrol measures) A strategy should be developed to meet the moitorig purpose idetified i paragraph The moitorig strategy should also esure that a represetative rage of jobs ad work methods are examied. Occupatioal exposures ca vary from day to day ad eve throughout a shift. So, the strategy should take accout of the rage of circumstaces ad coditios that ca occur, icludig differet ACMs, work methods, work areas, work duratio etc. Air samplig results should be used to iform ad modify the cotrol arragemets, as ecessary The air moitorig data should be used to establish employee exposure records. Moitorig is ot required for every job. Samplig data from previous similar jobs ca be used to judge the effectiveess of cotrols ad to decide whether actio levels or cotrol limits are likely to be exceeded. But, where there is doubt about the expected exposure cocetratio, the exposure will have to be cofirmed by air moitorig. Asbestos: The licesed cotractor s guide Page 14 of 181

15 Health ad Safety 1.27 Moitorig should be carried out usig a method approved by the Health ad Safety Commissio (eg usig methodology described i Asbestos: The aalysts guide for samplig, aalysis ad clearace procedures). 8 If there is doubt about assessig employees expected exposure to asbestos fibres, seek help from a occupatioal hygieist or a specialist laboratory. To carry out asbestosrelated samplig ad aalysis, laboratories must be accredited to ISO by a recogised accreditatio body, eg UKAS (the UK Accreditatio Service) Tables 1.1 ad 1.2 provide iformatio o fibre cocetratios likely to be experieced i a rage of jobs. The data is oly a guide ad is ot a substitute for carryig out a proper assessmet of the likely exposure cocetratios. The circumstaces of each job ca vary widely so a idividual assessmet should be carried out It is possible to obtai exposures lower tha those quoted for cotrolled strippig techiques. Specialist cotractors should therefore ot take these fibre cocetratios as represetig the lowest reasoably practicable, but view them as illustratig how exposures ca be reduced. Cotractors should therefore always strive to reduce exposure to as low as reasoably practicable. Table 1.1 Well-cotrolled work with ACMs Bad practice Good practice Job Cotrolled wet strippig usig maual tools Careful removal of whole AIB up to 3 Drillig AIB with vacuum trace - local up to 1 exhaust vetilatio (LEV), or shadow vacuumig (ote drillig holes i asbestos should be avoided where possible) Table 1.2 Poorly cotrolled work with ACMs Job Strippig pipe or vessel laggig up to 100 partially wetted or dry areas preset Strippig sprayed coatigs aroud 1000 partially wetted or dry areas preset Drillig AIB without vacuum trace up to 10 Reciprocatig power sawig AIB up to 20 Had sawig AIB 5-10 Likely fibre cocetratios (fibre/ml) up to 1 (uless a dry patch is hit or laggig becomes detached) Likely fibre cocetratios (fibre/ml) Asbestos: The licesed cotractor s guide Page 15 of 181

16 Health ad Safety Measuremets have show that, where cotrolled strippig techiques have bee used but ot correctly applied, they ca lead to high airbore fibre cocetratios. Poor wettig is ofte little better tha ucotrolled dry strippig 1.30 Other reasos for carryig out air moitorig iclude: stage 3 of the four-stage clearace procedure (see paragraph 7.132); leak samplig to check the ogoig itegrity of the eclosure (see paragraph 6.56); reassurace air samplig after removal work has bee completed Further details o air moitorig are provided i Asbestos: The aalysts guide for samplig, aalysis ad clearace procedures. 8 Legal requiremets 1.32 There are several sets of health ad safety legislatio that directly or idirectly place duties o employers i relatio to asbestos. The mai pieces of geeral legislatio are listed below: The Health ad Safety at Work etc Act (HSWA) (Sectio 2)requires a employer to coduct their work i such a way that their employees will ot be exposed to health ad safety risks, ad to provide iformatio to other people about their workplace which might affect their health ad safety. Sectio 3 of HSWA cotais geeral duties o employers ad the self-employed i respect of people other tha their ow employees. Sectio 4 cotais geeral duties for ayoe who has cotrol, to ay extet, over a workplace. The Maagemet of Health ad Safety at Work Regulatios require employers ad self-employed people to make a assessmet of the risks to the health ad safety of themselves, their employees, ad people ot i their employmet arisig out of or i coectio with the coduct of their busiess ad to make appropriate arragemets for protectig those people s health ad safety. The Costructio (Desig ad Maagemet) Regulatios 1994 (CDM) 11 require the cliet to pass o iformatio about the state or coditio of ay premises (icludig the presece of hazardous materials such as asbestos) to the plaig supervisor before ay work begis ad to esure that the health ad safety file is available for ispectio by ayoe who eeds the iformatio There are two sets of specific health ad safety regulatios that directly apply to work with asbestos. These are: The Cotrol of Asbestos at Work Regulatios 2002; 7 The Asbestos (Licesig) Regulatios 1983 (as ameded) (ASLIC). 1 The key requiremets of these regulatios are outlied below. The Cotrol of Asbestos at Work Regulatios CAWR applies to all work with asbestos. It requires employers to prevet exposure of employees to asbestos or, where this is ot reasoably practicable, to reduce exposure as low as is reasoably practicable. The spread of asbestos should also be preveted. The key to cotrollig asbestos exposure ad spread is through a suitable ad sufficiet risk assessmet (RA). Before startig ay work where asbestos is preset, CAWR requires a employer to make a assessmet of the likely exposure of employees to asbestos ad to prepare a pla of work (POW). The assessmet ad POW should be i writig ad should, amog other matters, Asbestos: The licesed cotractor s guide Page 16 of 181

17 Health ad Safety iclude details of the steps that eed to be take to meet the requiremets of the regulatios CAWR also icludes requiremets o the followig: a duty to maage asbestos i o-domestic premises; otificatio of work with asbestos; provisio of iformatio, istructio ad traiig; use of cotrol measures; maiteace of cotrol measures; provisio ad cleaig of protective clothig; arragemets to deal with accidets, icidets ad emergecies; clealiess of premises ad plat; air moitorig; health records ad medical surveillace The licesed asbestos removal cotractor (LARC) may ot always eed to make a ew assessmet before each idividual job if the work ivolves similar jobs o a umber of sites, eg removig asbestos ceilig tiles from a umber of idetical or similar offices. But where the work varies sigificatly from site to site, a ew assessmet will eed to be made for each job More iformatio o the requiremets of CAWR ca be foud i the Approved Code of Practice (ACOP), Work with asbestos isulatio, asbestos coatig ad asbestos isulatig board. Cotrol of Asbestos at Work Regulatios Approved Code of Practice ad guidace. 12 Cotrol limits ad actio levels 1.38 CAWR also specifies requiremets to limit airbore exposure to asbestos: cotrol limits ad actio levels. A cotrol limit is that cocetratio of asbestos i the air (averaged over ay cotiuous four-hour or te-miute period) above which employees must ot be exposed to uless they are wearig suitable RPE. Both the four-hour ad te-miute periods have their ow cotrol limits, the values of which vary depedig o the type of asbestos preset. The cotrol limits are give i Table 1.3 ad exposures should be reduced to the lowest level reasoably practicable below them Actio levels apply to exposure i the loger term, ad are cumulative exposures calculated over ay cotiuous 12-week period. The 12-week period should ot be deliberately chose to avoid exceedig a actio level; it should represet a worst case for the work beig udertake. If the exposure of ay employee exceeds or is likely to exceed a actio level, the regulatios i CAWR o otificatio, desigated area ad medical surveillace, apply. The actio levels are give i Table 1.3. Asbestos: The aalysts guide for samplig, aalysis ad clearace procedures 8 cotais guidace o how to calculate actio levels. Asbestos: The licesed cotractor s guide Page 17 of 181

18 Health ad Safety Table 1.3 Cotrol limits ad actio levels for asbestos Asbestos type 4-hr cotrol limit 10-mi cotrol Actio level (f/ml) limit (f/ml) (fibre hrs/ml 2 ) Chrystolie aloe Ay other form of asbestos, either aloe or i mixtures, icludig mixtures of chrysotile with ay other form of asbestos Notes f/ml - fibres per millilitre of air averaged over ay cotiuous period. fibre hours/ml - calculated by multiplyig the airbore exposure i f/ml by the time i hours for which it lasts to give exposure i fibre hours/ml. Cumulative exposures are calculated by addig together all the idividual exposures over ay cotiuous 12-week period. The Asbestos (Licesig) Regulatios 1983 (as ameded) 1.40 I Great Britai, work o asbestos isulatio, asbestos coatig ad AIB has, by law, to be carried out by a cotractor who holds a licece uder ASLIC although there are exceptios, eg where the work is of short duratio. Paragraphs provide full details These exclusios mea that maiteace workers do ot eed a licece to do mior work, eg istallig a light fittig, providig the work is short duratio ad exposures are ulikely to exceed actio levels or cotrol limits. Although a licece is ot required, they should have the ecessary expertise ad the work must comply with CAWR. However, if i geeral terms, good workig practices are followed, compliace with CAWR will be achieved. HSE has produced guidace for o-liceced work, Asbestos essetials. There are two publicatios, Itroductio to asbestos essetials: Comprehesive guidace o workig with asbestos i the buildig maiteace ad allied trades; 13 ad Asbestos essetials task maual: Task guidace sheets for the buildig maiteace ad allied trades, 2 both available from HSE Books. Maagemet of asbestos Is asbestos removal ecessary? 1.42 Regulatio 4 of CAWR places a duty to maage asbestos i o-domestic premises. As part of the maagemet of asbestos, ACMs should be maitaied i good coditio ad oly removed if absolutely ecessary. ACMs i good coditio ad left udisturbed will ot release fibres ito the air ad will ot cause exposure ad spread. Asbestos should ot be removed simply because it is there. It may also be possible to avoid disturbace of asbestos durig maiteace or buildig work, eg by routig services through a alterative locatio The removal of asbestos by its very ature will cause disturbace ad spread. Where it is removed, the work must be strictly cotrolled. Appedices cotai flow charts describig the optios for the maagemet of ACMs. There are charts for differet types of asbestos. The charts work systematically through the optios ad actios for ACMs, depedig o the type ad coditio of the material. Asbestos: The licesed cotractor s guide Page 18 of 181

19 Health ad Safety 1.44 Examples where removal will be ecessary iclude: before the demolitio of a buildig; before maiteace or refurbishmet work which may disturb ACMs; where ACMs are damaged; where ACMs are vulerable to damage by the ormal day-to-day activities i the buildig; where a chage i the use of a buildig may make ACMs more proe to damage. Asbestos should oly be removed if absolutely ecessary 1.45 ACMs should remai i place ad be icluded i a buildig maagemet pla. Small areas of damage ca be repaired, the material ecapsulated or eclosed by aother o-asbestos material Appedices summarise the maagemet decisios ad actios to be take as part of the maagemet process for asbestos i buildigs. Further detailed iformatio o maagig asbestos i buildigs is give i A comprehesive 14 guide to maagig asbestos i premises. Medical examiatio of asbestos removal workers uder CAWR 2002 Status of the medical examiatio ad certificate of examiatio 1.47 Uder the curret CAWR the medical examiatio is ot a fitess for work examiatio. The certificate of examiatio oly cotais the iformatio that a employee has bee examied at a certai date (regulatio 21, paragraphs 4 a ad b). All other statutory medical examiatios (for istace for lead, ioisig radiatio ad divig) coclude with a fitess for work judgemet. This approach i the CAWR medical examiatio is uusual ad has historical reasos. As a cosequece, the medical examiatio does ot certify that the employee is ecessarily fit for all work coditios that ca be preset i a asbestos eclosure. This curret positio may chage at the ext review of CAWR, due i Risk assessmet of the work coditios 1.48 The employer has to assess ay specific hazards ad risks i their RA as required by regulatio 3 of the Maagemet of Health ad Safety at Work Regulatios Such factors may iclude workig with RPE or workig at height with the risk of fallig. Depedig o the coditios iside the eclosure, for istace whe work i hot coditios caot be avoided, a asbestos eclosure may also become a cofied space, as defied i the Cofied Spaces Regulatios If that is the case, the competet perso carryig out the RA for work i cofied spaces may eed to cosider the suitability of idividuals for that work. This may, eg require checkig whether the idividuals are of a suitable build ad stamia. If i doubt, but especially i the case of uavoidable hot work or the ecessity to wear breathig apparatus, competet medical advice o a idividual s suitability for the work may be eeded ad therefore a additioal fitess for work examiatio, i additio to the CAWR medical examiatio, may be required (see Work with asbestos isulatio, asbestos coatig ad asbestos isulatig board. Cotrol of Asbestos at Work Regulatios Approved Code of Practice ad guidace, paragraph 79) Cosiderig the fitess for work of the operatives is always good practice, eve if the strict defiitio of a cofied space does ot apply. I particular, where ay medical coditio could iterfere with the correct use of persoal or respiratory protective equipmet, a operative is proe to sudde loss of cosciousess or Asbestos: The licesed cotractor s guide Page 19 of 181

20 Health ad Safety has sigificat sickess absece, a assessmet by a competet perso could be eeded. Examples of such medical coditios are heart ad lug (for istace asthma) diseases, ustable diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, claustrophobia (fear of small spaces), metal coditios or the takig of certai medicatios. Simple questioaires, preferably admiistered by a occupatioal urse, ca help itroduce additioal safety with miimal effort. Fial judgemet o fitess for work i case of detectio of medical aomalies should be reserved for a occupatioal physicia with good kowledge of the specific work requiremets ad work coditios preset i a asbestos eclosure. Whe is a medical required? 1.50 A medical examiatio is required whe the exposure of a employee could exceed the actio level for asbestos fibres. The actio level is a amout of fibres per millilitre of air as measured over a 12-week period (see paragraph 1.39). The Regulatios curretly give differet actio levels for chrysotile asbestos ad other types of asbestos, although i reality, most asbestos removal workers work with all types of asbestos ad for simplicity use the cotrol limits/actio levels for amosite/ crocidolite. Because the actio level is measured over a period of time ad also depeds o the type of asbestos beig worked with, the questio whether the actio level will be exceeded depeds o the patter of work ad the RA for each job. The employer is resposible for this RA ad therefore also for determiig whether the employee might exceed the actio limit. Most removal worker exposure will exceed the actio level. How ofte is the medical examiatio carried out? 1.51 Whe work with asbestos starts uder coditios that will exceed the actio level, employees eed to be uder medical surveillace. For the purpose of the Regulatios it is however sufficiet if the employees ad the employer have obtaied a valid certificate of examiatio, which is ot older tha two years, before the work starts. After the first examiatio the medical examiatio is repeated at itervals of o loger tha two years (or at a shorter iterval as decided by the doctor who carries out the examiatio), for as log as the employee is likely to be exposed over the actio level. The purpose of the examiatio 1.52 Asbestos i all its forms is a very hazardous material. It ca cause serious lug disease such as asbestosis ad differet forms of lug ad other cacers (maily maligat mesothelioma (see paragraphs ). From past experiece we kow that uder the curret exposure situatios the biggest risk to health is still the risk of cacer The medical examiatio is part of the strict cotrol measures ecessary to help esure that people who work with asbestos do so i a safe way. The mai aim of the examiatio is to advise the employees about the potetial health risks of asbestos ad of their fitess for work. The latter is however ot commuicated to the employer i the certificate of examiatio. Although the examiatio is lookig for sigs of ill health, possibly liked with asbestos exposure, it is importat to kow that it may take may years before sigs of ill health from past asbestos exposure become detectable by the examiatio. Therefore the other importat purpose of the examiatio is to provide the employee with the opportuity to speak to a medical doctor about ay cocers they may have regardig their work ad/or their health. Who carries out the medical examiatio? 1.54 Medical examiatios uder CAWR are carried out either by a employmet medical advisor workig for HSE or by a appoited doctor. I practice, a appoited doctor will almost always carry out the examiatio. Appoited doctors are appoited by the Employmet Medical Advisory Service (EMAS) of HSE ad Asbestos: The licesed cotractor s guide Page 20 of 181

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