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Who is allowed to remove asbestos?

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Asbestos removal can be a dangerous job unless it is carried out by fully trained and properly equipped workers, which is why there are strict regulations governing who can carry out the work.

The regulations are designed to prevent asbestos fibres being disturbed during removal and to ensure that proper clean-ups are undertaken to leave buildings and demolition sites in a safe condition after the work is completed.

Work with asbestos containing materials is split into three types - licensed, notifiable non-licensed and non-licensed - with the categories reflecting the level of risk involved in the jobs.

The key factors in determining which category a removal job falls into are the type of asbestos containing material involved, its condition and the length of time the work will take. Typically, the worse the condition of the materials and the longer the duration of the job, the higher the category.

However, it is important to remember that even jobs classified as non-licensed require risk assessments and can only be carried out by workers who have had the right training. This applies in the home, as well as in workplaces, and homeowners should not attempt DIY asbestos removals unless they have had the correct training.

Jobs for licensed asbestos removal contractors

If your project involves the removal of any of the following types of asbestos containing materials, you will need to call in a licensed contractor.

  • Loose fill insulation
  • Pipe lagging
  • Sprayed coatings (also known as limpet asbestos)
  • Millboard
  • Asbestos insulating board (AIB), unless the risk assessment identifies that the work will be ‘short duration’

Notifiable non-licensed asbestos removal jobs

If your project involves the removal of one of the asbestos containing materials listed below, it will almost certainly be classified as notifiable non-licensed work (meaning the relevant enforcing authority - typically either the Health & Safety Executive or local authority - will need to be informed before the work starts).

  • Asbestos insulating board (AIB), where the risk assessment identifies that the work will be ‘short duration’
  • Textured decorative coatings
  • Damaged asbestos cement products, such as roof sheets
  • Asbestos cement products that need to be broken up to be removed
  • Asbestos paper / cardboard products

This sort of work can only be carried out by trained staff following specific procedures and often involves the use of a lot of equipment and PPE. Licensed asbestos contractors are also set up to undertake this type of job, as they have fully-trained workers and all the relevant equipment.

Non-licensed asbestos removal jobs

If your project involves the removal of the materials listed below, it is likely to be classified as non-licensed work.

  • Asbestos cement products in good condition that can be removed intact
  • AIB doors
  • Small areas of textured decorative coatings to allow for work such as installing new light fittings
  • AIB panels that are screwed in place (providing they can be taken out intact) to gain access for maintenance work

While this sort of work is regarded as being lower risk it still requires trained workers using the recommended methods and equipment.

BLS Asbestos is a licensed asbestos removal and disposal contractor that carries out licensed, notifiable and non-licensed work across the UK, and has experience of working on everything from domestic properties and offices to industrial complexes and demolition sites.

For more information about our services or to request a quote, please call 01484 400558 or contact us via the website.

Published: 14th March 2016