Asbestos Information & Resources Page

Welcome to our Asbestos Information & Resources page, where you can find useful links to external websites such as the HSE, as well as informative documents which focus on asbestos.

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR2012) came into force on 6th April 2012. These regulations set the minimum standards for the protection of employees and others from risks related to exposure to asbestos. Employers should also take account of people not directly employed by them but who could be affected by the work being done on asbestos (including employees of other employers, people occupying buildings, members of the public etc).

The Regulations place legal duties on employers responsible for licenseable and non-licenseable work with asbestos. They also place a specific duty for the management of asbestos with a premises with responsibilities placed directly on the owners and / or those responsible for maintenance in non-domestic premises.

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR2012) covers all industrial and commercial buildings, such as factories, warehouses, offices and shops. The duty also covers public buildings such as hospitals, schools, museums, libraries, leisure centres, churches and other religious buildings. In addition, premises include road and rail vehicles, vessels, aircraft and offshore installations, as well as structures and installations (such as bridges), street furniture (such as street lighting) etc.

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    Asbestos is responsible for over 5000 deaths every year. Younger people, if routinely exposed to asbestos fibres over time, are at greater risk of developing asbestos-related disease than older workers. This is due to the time it takes for the body to develop symptoms after exposure to asbestos (latency).

    The current Regulations place a legal duty on employers to provide information, instruction and training to any of their employees who are likely to be exposed to asbestos as part of their work.

    The three main types of asbestos information, instruction and training are:

    Asbestos awareness training, training for non-licensable asbestos work – ie the type of work described in HSE’s Asbestos essentials, training for licensable asbestos work

    Frequently Asked Questions

    We are often asked to provide asbestos information. Please find below some of the questions that we are regularly asked, if you have a question ask us and we will be happy to answer it and add it to the list.

    What is asbestos?

    Asbestos is the name given to a group of fibrous minerals which occur naturally in the earth. These are grouped into two mineral types known as serpentine and amphibole.

    The most common types of asbestos fibre used are chrysotile (white) asbestos which is a serpentine mineral and amosite (brown), and crocidolite (blue) asbestos which are amphibole minerals. The colours are seen in clean fibres and may not be clearly visible when the fibres are mixed with other material.

    Asbestos was widely used in buildings, vehicles and domestic and industrial items because of its chemical and physical properties of high tensile strength, flexibility, chemical and heat resistance and good thermal and electrical insulation properties.

    What are the Health Effects?

    Asbestos disease is caused by breathing in very fine fibres. As asbestos fibres accumulate in the lungs, several types of disease may occur.

    Asbestosis: – is a scarring of the lung tissue caused by breathing in asbestos fibre over a period of many years. This leads to a progressive loss of elasticity and lung function. It is a slowly developing disease with a latency period (time between exposure and onset of disease) of 15 to 20 years.

    Mesothelioma: – is a cancer of the lining of the lungs (pleura) or more rarely of the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneum). Mesothelioma has a long latency period, averaging between 35 to 40 years; however this may vary between 15 and 67 years. The disease is almost always associated with asbestos exposure.

    Lung Cancer: – is a malignant tumour of the bronchi of the lungs. The tumour grows through the surrounding tissue, invading and often obstructing passages.Individuals exposed to asbestos have an increased risk of developing lung cancer which is further increased by smoking. Again the disease has a long latency period of approximately 20 years.

    How often do I need refresher training?

    Refresher training for licensable and non-licensable work should be given every year. This should be based on a training needs analysis. For awareness training, there is no need to repeat a full training course every year, however some suitable refresher should be given. This can be given as part of other health and safety updates or an online asbestos awareness course.

    We hope you have found our asbestos information and resource page helpful if you do have any further queries please contact us.

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