Regulation 5 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations: What You Need to Know
Asbestos and its associated regulations, the ‘Control of Asbestos Regulations (2012)‘ can be a complicated subject and one that is often difficult to understand.
What is Regulation 5?
Regulation 5 relates to the ‘Identification of the presence of asbestos.’ This regulation places specific duties on employers, particularly those in the construction, demolition, maintenance and allied trades to identify the presence of asbestos, before any work that may risk disturbing asbestos commences.
It also requires employers to arrange an asbestos survey if existing information on the presence of asbestos in the premises is incomplete, not up-to-date or appears unreliable, upon which to base a risk assessment on the hazards associated with the material.
Whose Responsibility is it & What Do They Need to Do?
Dutyholders’ who are those responsible for the repair and maintenance of premises, have specific duties under Regulation 4 to provide an up-to-date asbestos survey and associated asbestos register for the premises that they are responsible for. Unfortunately, often this information is not available, meaning the Dutyholder would have failed to meet their responsibilities under the regulations.
This is not an excuse for the employer to proceed with works, without the correct information regarding the risk of asbestos.
For example, if an electrical contractor is undertaking an electrical rewire in a secondary school, and the school is unable to provide an asbestos survey report relevant to areas of the building where the work is taking place. Then the employer of the electrical contractor will need to arrange for a survey and analysis of representative samples to determine the presence, type and condition of asbestos.
Where the employer’s work is going to disturb the fabric of the building, this will require an Asbestos Refurbishment / Demolition survey. This type of survey is used to locate and describe, as far as reasonably practicable, all Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM’s) in the area where the refurbishment work will take place or in the whole building if demolition is planned.
In compliance with Regulation 6, the survey information should then be reviewed by the employer, and a suitable risk assessment conducted, to identify the risks of exposure to asbestos during the project.
Where asbestos is liable to be disturbed, the employer must put in place steps to prevent or reduce exposure to employees. This may involve removing any identified ACM’s before the works commence, or conducting the works in a different manner that will not risk disturbance of ACM’s.
The Oracle team is always on hand to take you through every step to managing asbestos during your project. For further information 0844 800 0801..