AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

How to Safely Manage Asbestos

Although the use of asbestos as a building material has now been banned, it is still present in hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses across the UK, posing a danger to health. Identifying the presence of asbestos and safely managing it is a legal requirement, so read on to find out how.

What is Asbestos?

Safely Manage Asbestos How To Safely Manage AsbestosAsbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral found in rock and soil. The three main types of asbestos types are amosite, (brown asbestos) chrysotile (white asbestos) and crocidolite (‘blue asbestos’). Typically used as an insulating material, it can be found in sprayed coatings, insulation board, pipe lagging, or asbestos based cement, and was most likely to be used in any building constructed or refurbished before the year 2000.

The Dangers of Asbestos

Unfortunately, hundreds of construction workers are exposed to asbestos every year, mostly as a result of negligence. Once disturbed, the tiny fibres present in asbestos fill the air, and when inhaled can cause fatal chest and lung diseases. The most common asbestos related conditions include asbestosis, pleural thickening, lung cancer and mesothelioma. The devastating effects of being exposed to asbestos can take some time to manifest themselves, but asbestos related diseases are expected to peak in 2016 as a result of awareness of legislation having been introduced in the mid 1980’s to protect public health.

Identifying Asbestos

Asbestos was used so widely, that it can be present more or less anywhere in a building. Vinyl floor tiles, insulation board, pipe insulation, ceiling tiles, sprayed coatings and artex are common asbestos containing materials, but it can be found in many other household building or decorating materials as well.

Managing Asbestos in Commercial Properties

Asbestos must be managed safely under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, and if you own, occupy, manage or have responsibilities for non-domestic premises which may contain asbestos then you have a legal duty of care to manage it safely. This includes identifying asbestos, keeping a register of the location and presence of asbestos, managing the asbestos, and informing anyone who is likely to work near or disturb the asbestos of the presence and condition of the material. This should be done by appointing an experienced company such as Artisan Surveyors to carry out a comprehensive asbestos survey. Click here to find out more about Artisan Surveyors.

Asbestos Surveys

There are two types of asbestos survey that can be carried out. Management surveys are the most common surveys to meet a duty of care to locate and assess asbestos risk, while refurbishment surveys are more extensive and used for the identification of all asbestos hazards before construction or demolition work.

When you appoint an asbestos survey company, you need to make sure that they are suitably qualified to produce a report assessing and managing asbestos risk. Samples of asbestos often need to be analysed, and so the company should use a laboratory accredited by UKAS (The United Kingdom Accreditation Service). A report should include an asbestos register and material risk assessment, sample analysis details, colour photographs of samples, recommendations and advise for all asbestos identified within the building and CAD drawn floor plans.

About the author : Wendy Lin is a successful female entrepreneur. She is an activist and painter as well as an established businesswoman.
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