Managing Asbestos in demolition

Managing Asbestos in demolition overview

Asbestos was widely used in building materials until the mid-1980s. Although much asbestos has now been removed from buildings, it has been estimated that over half a million non-domestic buildings still have asbestos in them amounting to many thousands of tons.

The strategy of the HSE is to ensure that those involved in the repair, removal or disturbance of asbestos containing materials (ACMs), such as insulation coatings or insulation boards, are licenced, competent and working to the strict requirements of the Control Asbestos Regulations.

This requires the identification of ACMs and the planning of any subsequent work.  This should prevent inadvertent exposure to asbestos and minimise the risks to those who have to work with it.

Asbestos Management in demolition

The regulations bring together the three previous sets of Regulations covering the prohibition of asbestos, the control of asbestos at work and asbestos licensing. The duty to manage asbestos is a legal requirement under the Control of Asbestos Regulations (Regulation 4.

It applies to the owners and occupiers of commercial premises (such as shops, offices, industrial units, etc.) who have responsibility for maintenance and repair activities.

In addition to these responsibilities, they also have a duty to assess  the presence and condition of any asbestos-containing materials. If asbestos is present, or is presumed to be present, then it must be managed appropriately.   

The regulations also prohibit the important, supply and use of all forms of asbestos. They continue the ban introduced for blue and brown asbestos in 1985 and for white asbestos in 1999.

They also continue the ban on the second-hand use of asbestos products such as asbestos cement sheets and asbestos boards and tiles, including panels which have been covered with paint or textured plaster containing asbestos.

The ban applies to new  uses of asbestos. If existing ACMs are in good condition, they may be left in place and their condition monitored and managed to ensure that they are not disturbed.

The control of asbestos regulations

The control of asbestos regulations require mandatory training for anyone liable to be exposed to asbestos fibres at work, including maintenance workers and others who may come into contact with or who disturb asbestos (e.g. cable installers) as well as those involved in asbestos removal and disposal work.

When work with asbestos or which may disturb asbestos is being carried out, the Regulations require employers and self-employed to prevent exposure as asbestos fibres.

Where this is not reasonable practicable, they must make sure that exposure is kept as low as possible by measures other  than the use of respiratory protective equipment.

The spread of asbestos must be prevented. The regulations specify the work methods and controls that should be used to prevent exposure and spread.

Worker exposure must be below the airborne exposure limit (the control Limit) of 0.1 fibres per cm 3 for all types of asbestos.

The Control Limit is the maximum concentration of asbestos fibres in the air (averaged over any continuous 4-hour period) and must not be exceeded. Short-term exposures must not exceed 0.6 fibres of air averaged over any continuous 10-minute period using respiratory protective equipment.

If exposure cannot be reduced sufficiently using other means. Respiratory protective equipment is an important part of the control regime but it must not be the sole measure used to reduce exposure and should only be used to supplement other measures.

Most asbestos removal work must be undertaken by a licenced contractor but any decisions on whether particular work needs to be licenced is based on the level of risk.

The Control of Asbestos Regulations requires those in control of premises and duty-holders to:

  • take reasonable steps to determine the location and condition of materials likely to contain asbestos
  • presume materials contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence that they do not 
  • make and keep an up-to-date record of the location and condition of the ACMs or presumed ACMs in the premises 
  • assess the risk of the likelihood of anything of anyone being exposed to fibres from these materials 
  • prepare a plan setting out how the risks from the materials are to be managed
  • take the necessary steps to put the plan into action 
  • review and monitor the plan periodically 
  • provide such information and asbestos awareness training to anyone who is liable to work on these materials or otherwise disturb them. 

Abestos in Homes

All you need to know about asbestos in homes in the United Kingdom. Current UK legislation does not make any legal requirements of domestic homeowners.

We are able to provide any level of survey required, up to the Demolition and Refurbishment survey now required prior to the demolition of any building or structure.

Pre-Demolition Survey

When a building is to be demolished the (non-domestic) client ( usually the property owner) has a duty to provide pre-demolition information to the designer

Refurbishment Survey

A refurbishment survey / demolition survey is needed before any planned refurbishment or demolition work is carried out. This type of survey is used to locate and describe, as far as reasonable practicable

Asbestos Removal

Total demolition perform safe and comprehensive asbestos removal work nationwide and have worked on some of the largest asbestos removal projects ever undertaken in the United Kingdom. 

Types of Asbestos

Asbestos has been included in many materials in the last 150 years.  Three common types of asbestos can be found in buildings: Crocidolite (Blue Asbestos), Amosite (Brown Asbestos), Chrysotile (White Asbestos)

The strategy of the HSE is to ensure that those involved in the repair, removal or disturbance of asbestos containing materials (ACMs), such as insulation coatings or insulation boards, are licensed & competent 

What is Asbestos

Asbestos was commonly used as a construction material in the UK between the 1950s and 1980s in particular. If your home was built between these years, chances are that you are living with Asbestos

Hazardous Material Removal

Total Demolition provides hazardous and contaminated waste identification, treatment and removal services. Our highly skilled team will always find a safe and efficient management solution to remove your unwanted legacy.

Asbestos In The Workplace

Total Demolition are a leading civil construction and civil engineering contractors with over 45 years’ expertise in delivering  high-quality, innovative and cost-effective civil engineering projects across a wide variety of sectors. 

Land Remediation

We have tackled some of the most complex remediation projects undertaken in the United Kingdom, surpassing industry standards. Our diverse range of experience and expertise sets us apart and we continually deliver to the highest standards 

Emergency Demolition

Total Demolition are able to provide rapid deployment of specialised plant and equipment ranging from excavators and earth-moving equipment, to crane and rigging, purpose built containerised spill contaminant modules, generators and lighting towers.

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