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Consultation on new Asbestos Regulations

Date: 31st October 2011

Public consultation on proposals for revised Control of Asbestos Regulations is underway, widening the scope of requirements for medical examinations and notification.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is proposing to introduce revised regulations to comply with a European Commission ruling that the UK hasn’t fully implemented a directive concerning the protection of workers from asbestos.

In the EC’s view, the omission of two terms in the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR06) has the effect of allowing too many types of work to be exempt from requirements concerning notification, medical examinations and record keeping.

Subject to the consultation, the effect of complying with the EC’s view will be to create a new category of work – ‘Notifiable Non-licensed Work’.

This will require certain types of work on asbestos containing materials to be notified to HSE before it begins, that medical examinations of those undertaking the work are carried out every three years, and that records of work exposures are kept by the employer. HSE is making no proposal for changes to the requirements for licensed asbestos work.

Rather than use amending regulations to make the necessary changes, it has been decided that the existing Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 will be revoked in their entirety, and a single set of revised regulations will take their place.

In future, there will effectively be three categories of work with asbestos:

a) Licensed - to which all requirements apply, and for which there is no change;
b) Non-licensed - which is exempt, as now, from the requirements to:

  • notify work with asbestos to the relevant enforcing authority;
  • carry out medical examinations;
  • maintain registers of work (health records);
  • hold a licence;
  • have arrangements to deal with accidents, incidents and emergencies; and
  • designate asbestos areas;

c) A new category of ‘Notifiable Non-Licensed Work’ (NNLW), which will be exempt from the requirements to:

  • hold a licence;
  • have arrangements to deal with accidents, incidents and emergencies; and
  • designate asbestos areas.

However, employers in this new category will be required to:

  • notify work with asbestos to the relevant enforcing authority;
  • carry out medical examinations; and
  • maintain registers of work (health records).

The HSE aim to have regulations and guidance in place ready for commencement in April 2012. Further details can be found on the HSE website at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/consult/condocs/cd237.htm

Santia provides a comprehensive range of asbestos management and health screening services to ensure that you remain legally compliant. These can be delivered as a complete asbestos risk management solution or a tailored package of services to meet your specific requirements. Further details can be found on our website at www.santia.co.uk

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