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Module 4 – 1 Legislation

Employers, building owners and landlords are obliged by law to protect their employees, the building occupants or tenants from being exposed to asbestos whilst working, visiting or living on the premises.

Various legal acts of parliament, regulations and codes of practice are now in place which should ensure that information, instruction and where applicable training, is given to anyone at risk from exposure to fibre release from ACM’s within their buildings, these may include:

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

A wide ranging act of parliament which places many legal duties to protect all aspects of health and safety risks at work covering the self employed, employees, any non direct employees and members of the public.

The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999:

These Regulations place a legal duty on employers to risk assess all work activities, tools and equipment etc. Where there are five or more people employed, the risk assessment should be written, documented and be available to all workers who may be at risk.

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The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012

These Regulations are specific to asbestos and apply to both those who work with ACM’s and have ACM’s within or on their premises. The main aim is on the employer to prevent exposure to their employees and other people who could be affected by the work. Asbestos currenty causes 4500 deaths per year in the UK.

Construction and maintenance workers:

The Regulations have included since 1998, legal duties relating to the protection of all people who are liable to be exposed to asbestos whether through direct or incidental exposure.

So for anyone with responsibility for any premises and building maintenance management there are now a number of clear implications which apply during routine maintenance work, and refurbishment projects.

Identification of the presence of asbestos – Regulation 5

An employer shall not undertake work in demolition, maintenance, or any other work which exposes or is liable to expose his employees to asbestos without identifying asbestos by way of surveying or making a presumption as to the presence.

Assessment of work which exposes employees to asbestos - Regulation 6

This regulation requires an employer, where the work is liable to expose employees to asbestos, to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risk created by that exposure to the health of those employees and the steps that need to be implemented to prevent that exposure, they must also record the significant findings of the risk assessment, and implement the steps required.