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Working with asbestos

Only trained professionals should work with asbestos.

It’s possible that you’ve worked with, or disturbed asbestos before. To make sure you avoid disturbing asbestos ensure you receive the correct level of training.

Working with asbestos

Always ask your boss if the building has been checked for asbestos, it’s your right to be protected from this dangerous substance.

In non-domestic buildings you have a right to be given information about the condition and location of asbestos by the person who manages the building, before you start work, you must pass this information on to anyone working for you on the job. You should ask for this when tendering or quoting for work, the information about asbestos will help you to cost the job correctly, plan the work safely, preventing potentially expensive surprises on site.

Before starting work on anywhere built before the year 2000, check:

  • You are not working on asbestos-containing products,
  • You have received the correct level of information, instruction and training,
  • For domestic premises, your boss has told you where asbestos can be found on site,
  • For non-domestic premises, you have seen the information on the location and condition of asbestos before you start work.

Don’t start work if:

  • You are not sure if there is asbestos where you are working,
  • The asbestos materials are sprayed coatings, board or insulation and lagging on pipes and boilers – only licensed contractors should work on these,
  • You have not been trained to do non-licensed work with asbestos. Basic awareness training is not enough.

You should only continue to work if:

  • The work has been properly planned and the right precautions are in place (eg. you have the right equipment)
  • The materials are asbestos cement, textured coatings and certain other materials which do not need a licence (listed in Asbestos Essentials)
  • You have had training in asbestos work and know how to work with it safely

Any work with asbestos should only be carried out with the correct level of training.