Asbestos

Asbestos - There is no 'Safe Level'

If you are an Employer

 You have an explicit duty to manage the risk from asbestos and these apply to all who own, occupy, manage or have responsibilities for non-domestic premises. This does not mean that all asbestos has to be removed but it must be monitored if in good condition, and removed by a suitable contactor should it present a hazard.  You need to assess whether asbestos containing materials are present in your premises and, in some instances, this may require a survey to be carried out by an independent specialist contractor. For smaller organisations and new premises, this may be carried out internally by a competent person using existing plans. Premises built after 1985 are unlikely to contain much, if any, asbestos products.

If you suspect that you have asbestos in your home

The general rule is to always leave asbestos alone as it is usually safe unless damaged or disturbed. Paint indoor materials with an alkali resistant paint such as PVA emulsion, and never sand, drill or saw asbestos materials.

Always seek advice before removing asbestos. Do NOT attempt to remove asbestos lagging, spray coatings or insulation board on your own as these materials can only be safely removed by a specialist contractor who is licensed to remove asbestos. Sometimes it may be necessary to pay for a sample to be taken to determine if asbestos is present and to identify the type.
Fibrous asbestos is very hazardous and we recommend using a contractor who is a member of the Asbestos Removal Contractors Association (ARCA)
Avoid breathing asbestos dust.

Asbestos is dangerous and must always be handled carefully. Undamaged sheets may be transported unwrapped, but broken pieces and dust (which should always be mopped up with a damp cloth) should be securely sealed in a strong plastic bag.

Further Information

Asbestos Leaflet
Health & Safety Executive