Asbestos and other overlapping legislation in Construction Projects

As Construction professionals we all have to deliver bespoke projects with demanding time and financial constraints to add to this challenge. We also have to navigate various bits of legislation to keep our people safe and projects compliant.

When it comes to Asbestos the legislation is specific and with new sentencing guidelines that came into force in 2016 we have seen some record fines this year for breaches of asbestos regulations. More importantly it is about protecting people’s health, currently over 3,000 people a year are dying from asbestos related diseases!

So as a refresher I thought I’d just run through the general steps to take to keep your people safe and project compliant as you manage asbestos through a construction project.

Get specialist advice.

Under CDM 2015 all asbestos works fall under CDM irrespective of whether the project is notifiable, under CDM, or not.

Under CDM we have duties to plan for and ensure H&S through a project and where asbestos is concerned this includes CAR 2012 and specifically Reg 4 the duty to manage asbestos – so if you have duties under CDM you are also a duty holder under CAR 2012 reg 4, this specifically includes Clients, PDs and PCs.

Check that any specialists or contractors you plan to use are competent and fully insured to carry out the work you have.

Always use an independent UKAS accredited survey company, as recommended by the HSE. Remember; don’t start a project unless you have adequate and up to date asbestos information.

Once you know if you have asbestos on your project you can start to plan in its removal so that it doesn’t contaminate any people or materials and to limit its costs and disruption to the program.

Always use a Licenced Asbestos Removal contractor for any classification of asbestos removal work, they are licenced by the HSE.

Always use an independent UKAS accredited analyst for any air monitoring.

Once the asbestos has been safely removed and packaged it can be disposed of. The legislation for disposal of asbestos containing materials is covered under environmental legislation and is not policed by the HSE.

Waste legislation is completely separate to H&S legislation. The Environment Agency polices this and issues permits for waste carriers and for waste disposal sites.

Never allow asbestos to be mixed with other materials or waste as this can lead to very expensive remediation and increased disposal costs.

Waste classification and the duty of care paperwork that accompanies any asbestos waste must be complete and accurate.

All waste must be taken to a site licenced to accept asbestos waste irrespective of whether the waste is classified as hazardous or non-hazardous, it still contains asbestos.

Please get in touch if want more detail and if you want any help with asbestos management, removal or disposal on your project.