Professional bodies state 'You must continue with your asbestos management throughout lockdown'

Trade and Asbestos professional bodies have collaborated to advise all duty-holders must continue managing their asbestos during the second national lockdown.

The statement has been made to eliminate the confusion about authorising asbestos remedial action during the recent lockdown in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Professional bodies state 'You must continue with your asbestos management throughout lockdown' 1

The announcement emphasised that the legal obligations under the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR 2012) are fully active. This means all duty holders and anyone responsible for sites and maintenance are to control their asbestos threats and ensure the exposure to asbestos is avoided or decreased as low as reasonably practicable.

Graham Warren from ACAD said: “Asbestos professionals, such as surveyors and analysts, alongside HSE licenced contractors, are proficient in the use of control measures, should have undertaken the statutory COVID-19 risk assessments and should work with site-specific measures.”

The governing obligations are still highly operational with HSE throughout lockdown and must continue to abide by the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, Construction Design and Management Regulations and the Health and Safety at Work Act, to ensure asbestos fibre exposure is kept to a minimum.

As an addition, the guidelines from the Government have made it clear that it is legal to enter buildings (including business properties and other people’s homes) to provide services and work.

Steve Sadley from ARCA advised, “it is important that you enable the asbestos specialists who keep you safe and legal to do their job, even where your site is closed for employees, as part of ongoing asbestos management.”

Jonathan Grant, who is the Registrar of the Faculty of Asbestos Analysis and Management, commented, “Across all of those concerned with the protection of people from asbestos, there is a real worry that the important controls to precent COVID-19 transmission may be misunderstood as protecting people from other potentially lethal exposures. The professional and trade bodies want to make it clear that the hazards of asbestos have not gone away and that we are all here to help.”

With sites that are shut, the professional bodies have continually advised that the annual re-inspections can be put on hold. However, it is crucial to carry out the annual re-inspection before employees return to work to protect against any deterioration of any asbestos-containing materials.

If you are in need of any remedial or surveying works, then contact us today, and we can help to ensure you fulfil all of your own obligations when dealing with asbestos.

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