Asbestos Policy. Planning, Performance Management and Support Services. Legacy Causeway Asbestos Policy (Ref: CHSST/04/211)

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1 Asbestos Policy Reference Number: NHSCT/09/192 Responsible Directorate: Planning, Performance Management and Support Services Replaces (if appropriate): Legacy Causeway Asbestos Policy (Ref: CHSST/04/211) Policy Author/Team: Mervyn McNeill, Head of Building, Estate Services Dominic Crilly Southern Sector Manager, Building, Estate Services Approved by: Alistair Donaldson Assistant Director Estate Services Type of document: Departmental Policy Date Policy disseminated by Equality Unit: 17 September 2009 Date Approved: 21 July 2009 NHSCT MISSION STATEMENT To provide for all the quality of services we would expect for our families and ourselves June 2009

2 ESTATE SERVICES DEPARTMENT Asbestos Policy June 2009

3 INTRODUCTION Asbestos fibres are a dangerous substance. It is a general term for a variety of silicates of iron: Magnesium, Calcium, Sodium and Aluminium that naturally exist in fibrous dust form. The Control of Asbestos Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007 define Asbestos as any of the following minerals or any mixtures containing any of them, Crocidolite, Amosite may Chrysotile, fibrous anthophyllite, fibrous actinolite and fibrous tremolite. Asbestos is considered as a notable occupational health hazard. The health risks involved are associated with the inhalation of fibrous dust and its dispersion within the lungs and other parts of the body and are enhanced when the asbestos dust is combined with air borne pollutants such as those absorbed by the body when smoking. Unlike many other occupational diseases, asbestos related disease manifest themselves over a long incubation period of anything up to thirty years, as a consequence of that, the present numbers of disease and deaths are attributable to past control methods and to dust levels which obviously were injurious and much too high. SCOPE It is the policy of the Northern Health and Social Care Trust (hereafter referred to as the Trust), to protect all persons in premises (or parts of premises) which, whether owned, leased or otherwise, are under the direct or indirect control of the Trust, from the hazards of Asbestos, by ensuring a safe working environment. To achieve this, the Trust accepts that a high level of management commitment, professional competence and adequate resources are required to support the Asbestos Management Policy. It applies to: a) Work on or which disturbs building materials containing asbestos. b) Asbestos sampling. Asbestos removal is to be carried out, as determined, using approved and certified asbestos removal specialists who comply fully with the Control of Asbestos Regulations (NI) 2007 and the related Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) ~ L28, Work with asbestos insulation, coating, and asbestos insulating board [fourth edition 2002]. The Trust has: (1) a duty to prevent or reduce to the lowest reasonable level, the exposure to asbestos of all employees and visitors to the Trust sites. (2) a duty to prevent or reduce to the lowest reasonable level the spread of asbestos on Trust sites. 1

4 AIMS/OBJECTIVES (a) So far as reasonably practicable prevent the exposure of employees and contractors to asbestos fibres. (b) To ensure staff are aware of the Trust s commitment to the management of asbestos. (c) To provide a structure to enable Managers/Supervisors to ensure that statutory regulations are adhered to. (d) To ensure there is a co-ordinated approach. (e) To ensure that asbestos in a dangerous condition is removed in an approved manner and disposed of in an appropriate licensed facility. (f) To ensure that there is no spread of contamination on Trust facilities. DEFINITIONS Definitions - Responsible Person The Chief Executive of the Trust will appoint the Assistant Director, Head of Estate Services to be responsible for the management and control of all aspects of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) installed within the Trust. Definitions - Competent Person The Assistant Director, Head of Estate Services will appoint the Head of Building, Estate Services to be responsible for all aspects of the day-to-day management and control of Asbestos in the Trust. This includes work as required in an emergency. Definitions - The Approved Asbestos Specialist A Person as designated by the Appointed Licensed Asbestos Removal Company who is also licensed in Asbestos surveying and removal and notified in writing to the Trust. MANAGERIAL RESPONSIBILITIES In practice the responsibility for ensuring that regulations and guidance relating to asbestos are complied with will be delegated to the Estates Department. The Head of Building, Estate Services will be responsible for making suitable arrangements for monitoring records and policy documentation, etc., in accordance with the Control of Asbestos Regulations (NI)

5 Managers/Supervisors will: Ensure the execution of all policies and strategies relating to asbestos. Ensure the identification of ACMs. Ensure that all identified ACMs are properly encapsulated. Ensure that suitable and appropriate Personal Protective Equipment is used. Ensure that appropriate policies and strategies are in place and maintained for the management of asbestos specialists who will handle / dispose of ACMs. Ensure that ACMs being disposed of are done so in a licensed facility. Asbestos survey / register / risk assessment An asbestos survey / register / risk assessment will be prepared using MDHS100 which will provide information on ACMs within Trust property, buildings, plant and equipment. Details of how this is to be achieved is contained in the HSE document ACOP L127 The management of asbestos in non-domestic premises 2002 ~ ISBN The outcome of these assessments is the preparation of a written plan that clearly identifies the scope, type and extent of Asbestos Containing Materials [ACMs] :- (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) In all properties, buildings, plant and equipment. The measures which are to be taken for managing the risk That any measures are adequate to maintain managing of the risk That any measures are adequate for the safe and effective removal as necessary That any risk of damage to any identified ACM during normal work activity is considered within the risk assessment. Competent Person will: Ensure up to date knowledge of current regulations and that policies and procedures are kept up to date. Maintain all records / risk assessments relating to asbestos. Ensure existing asbestos materials are protected, adequately marked and identified. Ensure that no materials containing asbestos are used on any Trust properties for routine maintenance functions and monitor capital schemes to ensure compliance. Maintain a record of the location of asbestos on Trust properties. Liaise with building occupiers and administrators to keep those persons informed of any impending asbestos related work and to keep the occupier informed of progress and completion. Agree procedures with the contractor where stripping is to be carried out adjacent to electrical equipment. Identify and prioritise removal schemes. Arrange regular inspection of the condition of asbestos at the identified locations. Ensure there are safe procedures for evacuation and raising of alarms, for fire in an enclosure. Up-keep the relevant sections in the Asbestos Register. Identify Personal Protective Equipment needs as appropriate. Ensure all Estates staff are trained to obey notices identifying restricted areas and that restricted areas are locked off with the key held by the Competent Person. 3

6 Ensure all Estates staff are trained to obey instructions, relative to 'sealed' asbestos products. Ensure that asbestos sampling is carried out in prescribed methods. Ensure that air sampling is carried out in accordance with regulatory guidance when necessary. Keep a register of HSE approved and licensed contractors. Monitor contracts and check contractors competence. Ensure regular and up to date training is provided to estates staff and contractors as necessary that may have reason to enter an area where asbestos is know to exist. Note: Any incident whereby a person was unknowingly exposed to asbestos fibres should be recorded in Accident/Incident Book. ACTION CRITERIA The Trust is committed to a policy of surveying all their premises for the presence of ACMs in both internal and external areas where practicable in accordance with MDHS100. Asbestos registers are held within the Estates Department and copies of Asbestos reports can be viewed at the individual sites. The findings of all asbestos survey reports/registers will be made known to all members of the Estates Department who have responsibility for co-ordinating and authorising any maintenance or refurbishment work. The findings of all asbestos survey reports/registers, where applicable will be made known to tradestaff and external contractors who undertake any maintenance work or inspections on boiler casings, pipework, plant vessels, etc. Estates staff and contractors will not be allowed to drill, cut or disturb any ceiling, wall, cladding panel, floor surface or insulation material without first consulting the relevant asbestos survey / register/risk assessment document for the site to ensure that it is safe to do so. Trust personnel or external contractors will not be permitted to access any basement level walkable duct crawl duct or pipework trench without first consulting the relevant asbestos survey/register document. If no such document exists then all unsurveyed basement ducts and trenches should be treated as being asbestos contaminated unless proven otherwise by the Trusts appointed asbestos specialist Regular audits will be carried out to ensure that: - procedures are being followed - staff are adequately trained - registers are current - risk assessments are current - any action taken has been effective - objectives are being met Asbestos registers for all sites will be subject to an annual review. This will be carried out by the Trusts competent person or his nominated deputy. Each inspection will be dated and signed by the competent person or his nominated deputy. 4

7 USE OF ASBESTOS CONTRACTORS It is the policy of The Trust to restrict all disturbance to, and removal of, all notifiable ACMs on Trust sites to specialist licensed asbestos contractors who are approved by the Northern Ireland Health and Safety Executive [HSE(NI)]. All removal works and decontamination procedures undertaken by specialist licensed asbestos contractors on Trust sites will be monitored independently by an appointed Consultant holding UKAS accreditation. Asbestos Removal Contractors The approved list of licensed Asbestos Contractors is held by the HSE (NI) and licenses are to be checked with them prior to the issuing of any orders for work. Asbestos Airborne Testing Contractors All contractors capable of analysing dust samples, visiting site to check after asbestos has been removed and to sample the air to ensure the atmosphere is clear of asbestos fibrous material shall be accredited by the National Testing Laboratory (NATLAS). Engineering/Building Projects Projects managers shall work closely with the Estates Department and ensure that all work containing an asbestos removal content is carried out with due compliance to Control of Asbestos Regulations (NI) Approved and Registered Contractors Approved and registered contractors will conduct the work, sealing and/or removal and disposal of ACMs to a pre-arranged 'Method Statement'. These persons will conduct the work after appropriate notification to the Health and Safety Executive and having received due approval by the HSE. TRAINING REQUIREMENTS Training Programme Staff training will include the following. The training will cover, in appropriate detail, both written and oral presentation as well as by demonstration: i. The health hazards of asbestos, including the health hazards to employees families and others which could result from taking home contaminated equipment and clothing; ii. How controls, protective equipment and work methods can reduce those hazards; iii. The uses and likely occurrences of asbestos in buildings; iv. The assessment of exposure and the purpose of air monitoring; 5

8 v. The control limits and action levels and their meaning; vi. The increased risk if lung cancer for asbestos workers who also smoke; vii. The reduction of dust emissions by choice of work method; Why the particular control methods were chosen to reduce dust emission. viii. The correct use of control measures to limit the spread of asbestos fibres outside the work area, and to limit the exposures to workers inside the work area to as low as is reasonably practicable; ix. The maintenance of control measures, including the maintenance of enclosures and any negative pressure equipment; x. Procedures for reporting and correcting defects; xi. The duties and responsibilities of both the employer and employee; xii. The implications detailed in the Approved Code of Practice produced by the Health and Safety Executive entitled " Control of Asbestos (NI) 2007" and amendments; xiii. The correct use and care of the protective equipment, the use and care of the dust respirators, the types of respirators in stock, the reasons for the proper selection of the respirator for the various degrees of hazard and work requirements. Refresher training will be carried out at regular intervals in accordance with the regulations EMPLOYEES DUTIES Under the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978, So far as reasonably practicable, have a duty to take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and of other persons who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work and to co-operate with their employer. RECORDS Suitable and sufficient records are to be maintained such that information is available as detailed within the policy. REVIEW The purpose of the policy review is to ensure that the policy and any procedures are up-to-date and relevant. This policy will be reviewed every three years or at a change in legislation whichever is sooner. 6

9 Appendix 1 ASBESTOS REGISTER Details of Asbestos Register 7

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