Asbestos Professionals issue urgent reminder that cancer-causing asbestos still can and should be managed during lockdown
Asbestos professional and trade bodies have issued a joint statement to remind all duty-holders that asbestos must continue to be managed through the latest lockdown. This comes as there are reports of increasing confusion about the permitted activity in relation to asbestos during the latest lockdown in England and restrictions across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The reminder emphasizes that the legal duty under the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR) 2012 remain fully in force. They require all duty-holders to manage asbestos risks, such that exposure to asbestos is either prevented or reduced to as low as is reasonably practicable. HSE remains active in seeking regulatory compliance during lockdown and all concerned must continue to adhere to the requirements including the Control of Asbestos Regulations, the Health and Safety at Work etc Act and the Construction Design and Management Regulations in order to continue to minimise all exposure to asbestos fibre from any source.
Government guidance makes it clear that it is lawful to enter premises (including other people’s homes) in order to deliver services and do work.
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“It is important that you enable the asbestos specialists who can keep you safe and legal to do their job, even where your site is closed for employees, as part of ongoing asbestos management,” adds Steve Sadley of asbestos industry body ARCA.
“Asbestos professionals, such as surveyors and analysts, alongside HSE Licensed Contractors, are proficient in the use of control measures, should have undertaken the statutory COVID-19 risk assessments and should work with site-specific measures,” says Graham Warren of industry body ACAD.
The bodies have underlined that where sites are totally shut, annual re-inspections can be postponed, but it is essential these are undertaken prior to employees returning to site to guard against deterioration of Asbestos Containing Materials.
“Across all of those concerned with the protection of people from asbestos, there is a real worry that the important controls to prevent COVID-19 transmission may be misunderstood as protecting people from other potentially lethal exposures,” says Jonathan Grant, Deputy Registrar of the Faculty of Asbestos Analysis and Management. “The professional and trade bodies want to make it clear that the hazards of asbestos have not gone away and that we are all here to help.”
Steve Sadley ARCA, Graham Warren ACAD, Kevin Bampton BOHS, Jonathan Grant FAAM, Colette Willoughby NORAC
For further information on asbestos management:
- ARCA (for asbestos removal and general advice)
- ATaC (for surveys, inspections and analytical services, general advice, qualifications)
- ACAD (for asbestos removal and general advice)
- BOHS (general advice, qualifications)
- FAAM (professional standards)
- HSE (for general advice and regulatory matter)
- NORAC (for surveys, reinspections and analytical services)
Keeping everyone safe through the COVID crisis includes, preventing other hazardous workplace exposures – we are all here to help
Here at Casa Environmental Services, we specialise in providing UKAS accredited asbestos surveying and analytical services throughout the UK. We have all the knowledge, equipment and expertise needed to not only identify asbestos, but also safely manage it, whether that be through encapsulation, removal or decontamination.
Get in touch with our team today to discuss your asbestos risks, call 0117 9322323 or email email@example.com.