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Asbestos regulations

Asbestos regulations

Is asbestos a continuing concern for organisations or a thing of the past? Well, the answer is: a bit of both really.

Although asbestos has been banned throughout the UK since the 1980s and all related materials ceased to be used prior to the end of the last century - regulations governing asbestos within commercial premises have recently been introduced.

It cannot be argued that these regulations and those within the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 are not of continuing relevance to commercial organisations operating today.

Consider the following:

Why were the 2012 Regulations required?

The latest asbestos regulations (UK) were introduced as the European Commission felt the previous regulations from 2006 did not fully implement the relevant EC Directive too many lower risk categories of work were exempt from certain requirements within the regulations. Following a period of consultation, the Health & Safety Executive consolidated and updated the existing regime by bringing into force the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 on 6th April 2012.

What changes do the 2012 Regulations introduce?

The 2012 Regulations ensure a greater proportion of lower risk work with asbestos will be covered by the legislative scheme. Sporadic works of low intensity where exposure to asbestos does not exceed certain limits will no longer be exempt. An employer will be required to notify these sporadic works of low intensity to the relevant authority, although the licensing requirements have not been extended to include these works.

Organisations and individuals who are responsible for maintenance of non-domestic premises continue to have a 'duty to manage' the asbestos in them and to protect anyone using or working in the premises from the health risks associated with asbestos.

Why should I care?

Although the asbestos regulations can seem a rather dry set of legal requirements for commercial organisations, it is important to note that they are not simply a theoretical set of guidelines that are not enforced. Just ask Marks & Spencer who, along with three contractors, were fined over £1,000,000 for a failure to comply with the HSE's minimum standards.

If you are looking for advice on the latest asbestos regulations and what they mean for you, we would be happy to assist  please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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Written by : Super User