Asbestos is the silent killer that can take many years to catch up with those who breathe it in. Unfortunately, in many cases, it leads to mesothelioma and other cancers for which there is no cure. Something as simple as planning the work properly – and sticking to that plan – can stop people breathing in these deadly fibres.
5 Steps to Take Before Asbestos Removal Starts on Your Premises
- Before any work takes place, make sure you have shared all of your organisation’s findings in relation to your asbestos survey (including the location, type of asbestos and the amount) and your asbestos risk register (detailing the up-to-date information on any asbestos removals, changes or deteriorations in any areas).
- Ensure that the asbestos removal company has undertaken a risk assessment and has a method statement which details how the work will be done safely and what control measures are needed. The written plan should include how they intend to prevent exposure to those in the vicinity, and how they will reduce the spread of a potential release into the air, as well as emergency procedures.
- Depending on whether high-risk asbestos-containing materials are involved, your contractor may need to be licensed to do the work. Check with your local HSE Inspector or Environmental Health Officer – but it’s safest to work on the basis that a licensed contractor will be required.
- Check what training the contractors have received in asbestos removal – there are different levels of training depending on the nature of the work.
- Establish beforehand how the asbestos is to be disposed of – it is a legal requirement that all asbestos-containing materials are removed as hazardous waste.
If you require further advice, please contact us at Walker Health and Safety Services.