The dangers of asbestos are being taken more seriously than ever before, especially with so many families being affected by asbestos related diseases. There are more than 2,400 deaths in the UK alone from Mesothelioma, the asbestos related cancer. Many more people suffer from other asbestos related diseases.
Although the import and use of blue and brown asbestos was banned under the 1985 Asbestos Prohibition Regulations, and white asbestos in 1999, asbestos still leaves its treacherous legacy in older buildings today. Since then, legal requirements have undergone lots of changes as the Health and Safety Executive(HSE) seeks to reduce further the risks of this “hidden killer”. The latest legislation, the Control of Asbestos Regulations, came into force in 2012.
According to the Great British Asbestos in Buildings Survey, undertaken in 2012, 40% of risk managers ‘still don’t know the rules’ relating to asbestos management. This is a surprising fact, considering everything we know about the dangers of asbestos. The law deals harshly with property owners or occupiers with a duty to manage asbestos who are found to be breaching asbestos health and safety regulations.
High street retailer Marks and Spencer plc learned the hard way back in 2011 when the firm and three of its contractors were fined for fined for putting members of the public, staff and construction workers at risk of exposure to asbestos-containing materials at two stores in Reading and Bournemouth. As a result, the retailer was fined £1m and ordered to pay costs of £600,000.
The following are a few basic facts that every building owner or occupier should know about asbestos in order to keep the public safe.
- The duty to manage asbestos falls on those responsible for the maintenance and repair of non-domestic premises. Under this duty, you must make a “suitable and sufficient” assessment as to whether asbestos is likely to be present.
- The person whose duty it is to manage asbestos is required to make a suitable and sufficient risk assessment before carrying out any work with asbestos. This includes planning how to carry out the work safely.
- Ensuring compliance with licensing and notification requirements. All asbestos work requiring a license must be notified in advance to HSE.
- You are required to provide regular training both for anybody working with asbestos and those who supervise them.
- Some non-licensed asbestos work must be notified to the HSE. Find out more.
- From 2015, if you are required to notify the relevant authorities about non-licensed asbestos work, you will be required to undertake a medical screening.
- You must keep records of all notifiable non-licensable asbestos work.
Get Your Asbestos Certificate
The rules and regulations of asbestos can be difficult to comprehend for those who have a duty to manage asbestos risk.
Natas, one of the leading asbestos training providers in the UK, offers a full range of asbestos training courses to ensure organisations achieve full compliancy with latest rules and regulations.
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Experts offer comprehensive training, allowing candidates to gain or maintain their competency in asbestos awareness via a range ofcertified training and eLearning courses.
Gain your asbestos awareness certificate today. Contact Natas to find out more about recognised asbestos training courses UK.