Asbestos

This will give you information on where you will find asbestos, how it can affect you and hazardous work.

Where you will find asbestos

Insulation and sprayed coatings used for:
• boilers, plant and pipework hidden in under floor ducting
• fire protection to steelwork, hidden behind false ceilings
• thermal and acoustic insulation of buildings
• some textured coatings and paints.
• Friction materials as brake linings and clutch plates
• Gaskets and packing in engines, heating and ventilation systems.

Insulating board used in the following places:
• fire protection to doors, protected exits and steelwork
• cladding on walls and ceilings
• internal walls, partitions and suspended ceiling tiles.

Asbestos cement, which is found as:
• corrugated roofing and cladding sheets of buildings
• flat sheets for partitions, cladding and door facings.
• rainwater gutters and down pipes.

How asbestos can affect you

1 Asbestos breaks into tiny, long, sharp fibres. They can get lodged and scar the lungs, causing asbestosis or fibrosis.
2 Asbestos fibres may also cause lung cancer.
3 It can also cause mesothelioma, a cancer of the inner lining of the chest wall. This cancer is incurable.
4 Smokers are at much greater risk to asbestosis diseases

For management it is your duty to inform your workforce of the company policy regarding working with asbestos.

If you suspect asbestos, stop work immediately and inform your supervisor.

Types of Survey

Asbestos-containing materials (ACM) are either known to contain asbestos or presumed to contain asbestos.
The purpose of surveying is to make a ‘materials assessment’, i.e.
1. To find ACM and record what it is, where it is and how much there is
2. To record how accessible it is, its condition, and any surface treatment
3. To record the asbestos type, by sampling or by presuming

The duty-holder, building owner, employer and surveyor need to be clear on the type of survey needed, where the survey is needed, and what records should result.

Management Survey

The Management Survey purpose is required to manage ACM during the normal occupation and use of premises. The duty-holder can make a Management Survey where the premises are simple and straightforward. Otherwise, a surveyor is needed.
A Management Survey aims to ensure that:
1. nobody is harmed by the continuing presence of ACM in the premises or equipment
2. that the ACM remain in good condition
3. that nobody disturbs it accidentally
The Survey must locate ACM that could be damaged or disturbed by normal activities, by foreseeable maintenance, or by installing new equipment. It involves minor intrusion and minor asbestos disturbance to make a Materials Assessment. This shows the ability of ACM, if disturbed, to release fibres into the air. It guides the client, e.g. in prioritising any remedial work.

The Refurbishment / demolition Survey is required where the premises, or part of it, need upgrading, refurbishment or demolition. The Survey does not need a record of the ACM condition. Normally, a surveyor is needed for Refurbishment / demolition Surveys.
A Refurbishment / demolition Survey aims to ensure that:
1. nobody will be harmed by work on ACM in the premises or equipment
2. such work will be done by the right contractor in the right way
The Survey must locate and identify all ACM before any structural work begins at a stated location or on stated equipment at the premises. It involves destructive inspection and asbestos disturbance. The area surveyed must be vacated, and certified ‘fit for reoccupation’ after the survey