Asbestos Legislation Update
Our asbestos compliance expert, Denis Morgan, offers advice on the latest asbestos regulations and summarises what you need to know to remain complaint.
Revised Approved Code of Practice
Anyone working with materials containing asbestos should be aware that the Revised Approved Code of Practice (Managing and working with asbestos) was issued in December 2013. Essentially, two existing ACoPs, L127 (The management of asbestos in non-domestic premises) and L143 (Work with materials containing asbestos) have been consolidated into this single revised ACoP (L143).
What you need to know
The ACoP has been revised to make legal compliance clearer to duty holders and to reflect the changes introduced in The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. The revised regulations contain new requirements for certain types of non-licensable work with asbestos on notification of work; designating areas where you are working on asbestos; medical surveillance and record keeping.
The document gives the Regulations, which together with the Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) and guidance providing practical advice for employers about work which disturbs, or is likely to disturb, asbestos, asbestos sampling and laboratory analysis in order to comply with the Regulations.
A copy of the Revised Approved Code of Practice can be downloaded from the HSE.
Amendment to REACH Enforcement Regulations
In other changes, the Amendment to REACH Enforcement Regulations came into force on 16 December 2013. The sale and use of asbestos has been restricted in the UK and the EU for many years. However, under the EU REACH Regulation, the scope of the restriction was unintentionally extended to cover the sale and use of second-hand articles containing asbestos. This meant articles had to have the asbestos content removed if placed on the market - creating potential health risks from disturbing otherwise secure asbestos. Alternatively they could have been disposed of before the end of their useful life. This imposed unnecessary costs on businesses and others. The main affected groups were considered to be railways, road transport, industry and museums.
This amendment allows second-hand articles containing asbestos to be placed on the market, under conditions that ensure a high level of protection for human health, and to provide for some other amendments to the REACH Enforcement Regulations 2008.
A copy of the amendment to REACH Enforcement Regulations is available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/2919/pdfs/uksi_20132919_en.pdf