Frequently Asked Questions about Asbestos in Jersey
Below you will find frequently asked questions we get asked, if you have a question that is not covered here then please do not hesitate to contact me on email@example.com or complete our contact form.
Can surveys be carried out outside the normal business hours?
SB Asbestos Survey & Management; Can work outside normal business hours if required.
Do I need to remove asbestos that the survey identifies?
No not necessarily, if properly managed asbestos containing materials can remain in situ, it will depend on the type of asbestos, its condition, its location, it’s extent, occupancy of the area concerned and any future plans which may affect the ACM’s etc. The decision to remove, encapsulate or simply manage is based on the risk assessment best made by SB Asbestos Survey & Management.
Who needs to know where asbestos is?
The legislation requires the duty holder or person in charge of maintenance responsibilities to make all information on the location and condition of any asbestos containing materials available to anyone who is liable to disturb it. Any employees involved in building maintenance, or any contractors working on the premises should know if the building contains asbestos.
(An asbestos register, which should be in all non-domestic properties, will provide this information).
What happens during a survey?
This depends upon what type of survey you are having? As of January 2010 the Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3 asbestos surveys are no longer referred to.
The new asbestos survey types are;
Asbestos Management Survey
Asbestos Refurbishment /Demolition Survey
A management survey is similar to the old type 2 asbestos survey.
A Management Survey is the standard survey. Its purpose is to locate, as far as reasonably practicable, the presence and extent of any ACM’s (asbestos containing materials) in the building, which could be damaged or disturbed during normal occupancy, including any maintenance that may disturb it and assess the condition of the ACM’s.
Management surveys should cover a routine and simple maintenance work. However it has been recognised where a more extensive maintenance repair work is involved, there may not be sufficient information in the management survey and a localised refurbishment/ demolition survey will be required for all work which may disturb the fabric of the building, as a management survey will not have been intrusive.
A Refurbishment/Demolition Survey is needed before any refurbishment or demolition work is carried out. This type of survey is used to locate and describe, as far as reasonably practicable, all ACM’s in the areas where refurbishment or demolition work will take place. The survey will be fully intrusive and involve destructive inspection as necessary, to gain access to all areas, including those that may be difficult to reach. A refurbishment/ demolition survey may also be required in other circumstances, e.g. when more intrusive maintenance and repair work will be carried out, or for plant removal.
In this type of survey, where the asbestos has been identified to be removed, (‘rather than managed’). The surveyor does not normally assess the condition of the asbestos, other than to indicate areas of damage or where additional asbestos debris may be present. However as the asbestos removal may not take place for some time, the ACM’s condition is usually assessed so that materials can be managed.
Do plans of my premises need to be available for a survey?
Yes; however SB Asbestos Survey & Management can produce adequate plans during the survey if required.
Which occupations have the highest risk of exposure to asbestos?
Click on link below
Occupational, domestic and environmental Mesothelioma risks in Britain
Can we locate asbestos within our property ourselves?
Yes, however if you decide to do it in house by undertaking an asbestos survey yourself, you need to demonstrate that you are competent at doing an asbestos survey. Asbestos can be found in over 300 commonly used building materials, and it has been found in over 3000 different materials. As such SB Asbestos Survey & Management have the expertise to ensure all asbestos containing materials are identified during an asbestos survey.
On completion of the survey all samples are sent to an accredited laboratory and a survey report will be provided advising you of the condition of the asbestos in your property and the risk associated with its location and the type of asbestos found. We will suggest appropriate remedial action, and if needed can consult with you on your asbestos management plan.
How likely is it that I will have asbestos containing materials in my property?
Unless you occupy a building built after 1999 when all asbestos was banned in the UK, you cannot be sure that your building does not contain asbestos and you must presume all materials contain asbestos until it is proven they do not. To prove this you can have an asbestos survey, where samples are taken of the materials and sent for analysis, to confirm that there is no asbestos present.
I only rent the property, so who is responsible for managing the asbestos?
The Duty holder; or the person responsible for the maintenance or repair responsibilities is responsible under new legislation.
The duty to manage covers all non-domestic premises. Such premises include all industrial, commercial or public buildings such as factories, warehouses, offices, shops, hospitals and schools.
Non-domestic premises also include those ‘common’ areas of certain domestic premises: purpose-built flats or houses converted into flats. The common areas of such domestic premises might include foyers, corridors, lifts and lift-shafts, staircases, roof spaces, gardens, yards, outhouses and garages – but would not include the flat itself. Such common areas would not include rooms within a private residence that are shared by more than one household such as bathrooms, kitchens etc in shared houses and communal dining rooms and lounges in sheltered accommodation. Further detail is set out in a chart of premises at http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/campaign/chart.htm and includes which are likely to be classified as domestic or non-domestic for the purposes of the duty to manage.
What does the duty holder have to do to comply with new legislation?
Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006, regulation 4 requires; the duty to manage asbestos in non-domestic properties requires the duty holder or person responsible for maintenance responsibilities, to take reasonable steps to find asbestos in the premises and to assess the condition of these materials.
He must also;
1. Presume that materials do contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence that they do not.( have samples taken and analysed by an accredited libratory, or if the building was built after the year 2000)
2. Prepare a record of the location and condition of these materials and assess the risk from them.
3. Prepare a plan to manage those risks and implement that plan.
4. Provide information on the location and condition of the asbestos containing materials to anyone who may come into contact with them whilst carrying out their work activities.
Do I need training to manage asbestos?
Regulation 10 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 states that asbestos awareness training must be undertaken for trades who are liable to disturb asbestos whilst carrying out their normal everyday work, or those who may influence on how the work is carried out.
Here is a list of all trades that may come into contact with asbestos whilst carrying out their work activities;
1. Maintenance staff
4. Gas fitters
5. Painter and decorators
8. Demolition workers
9. Construction workers
11. Heating and ventilation engineers
12. Telecommunication engineers
13. Fire and burglar alarm installers
14. Shop fitters
15. Computer installers
17. Building surveyors and any such other professionals.
Is White Asbestos not as dangerous as Brown and Blue Asbestos?
All of the regulated forms of asbestos fibre are dangerous’. White asbestos is however present in a great number of products where the fibres are well bound within the matrix of the material, so if left undisturbed are less likely to present a hazard. You should not work with asbestos containing materials unless you have had adequate information, instruction and training. And you are aware of the dangers associated with such work
Do Artex / textured coating contain asbestos?
It can do. If you plan to do any work on a ceiling / wall skimmed with Artex you should get the material tested first. If the material does contain asbestos, it is unlikely that the material presents a high risk, unless it is sanded or scraped. If the material is to be removed it would be better to have it removed by someone who has had adequate information, instruction and training. It must also be disposed of the waste as asbestos waste.
I have a few asbestos boards in my garage; can I take them to the tip?
This work is governed by the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006. Whatever you do, you will need to comply with the law. Firstly you need to find out if the boards are asbestos as they may not be. A test will also tell you if you are dealing with a cement product or an insulation board product. If you have insulation board you should leave it and engage a licensed removal contractor to remove the material. If it is a cement product, you can’ having taken the necessary precautions to protect yourself and others, remove the material yourself and take it to a local tip that has the facility to receive asbestos materials. This is located at the reclamation site at La Collette.
I was in a building and noticed asbestos “a” warning sticker on the ceiling. Should I be concerned?
No the warning sticker has been put there to warn work men from disturbing the material. If you are in the room for normal occupation and not touching the ceiling you should not be concerned.
Do I really need Asbestos Awareness Training to comply with HSE regulations ?
Training is a mandatory requirement for anyone involved in building refurbishment where their work will disturb the fabric of the building.
The training is intended to inform all personnel of the dangers of asbestos, where it might be found in building materials and what to do in the case of accidental damage and subsequent exposure.
A buildings surveyor has done a survey of a property I am going to purchase and it mentions that I need to seek specialist advice. Why and what is this?
Most general buildings surveyors are not qualified or insured to make comment on asbestos in properties. However they may have seen some suspect material. An Asbestos Surveyor can perform an asbestos survey of the property for you so you know precisely what asbestos it contains, where it is and what risk it may pose.
If a survey identifies asbestos containing materials within my property, I am concerned that it will cause considerable further costs in removals. Do I have to remove all asbestos materials?
Asbestos needs to be managed; this doesn’t necessarily mean that all materials need to be removed. Asbestos can be managed, as long as it is not in a position to be damaged and release fibres leave it where it is. Make a plan of where it is in your home so you don’t inadvertently drill into it.( Although there may be asbestos present it may be perfectly safe to leave it in place provided you are aware of it and take simple steps to manage it). Asbestos can be encapsulated with another non asbestos containing material, as long as it is done properly. There is no point encapsulating asbestos if the material you are using is going to get water damaged and come away from the asbestos, damaging it in the process.
I am a builder working on a client’s site and want to remove an asbestos cement roof. Can I do this myself or should I call in a licensed removal contractor?
Firstly, are you sure the roof contains asbestos? Many fibrous cement products are now in use, many of which resemble asbestos cement. If there is some doubt as to whether the material contains asbestos, have a sample professionally taken to test whether the material contains asbestos or not. The control of Asbestos Regulations does not require a Licensed contractor for the removal of decrotive coatings. However they do require they be disposed of as asbestos waste, and the removal to be carried out by someone who has had adaquate information, instruction and training, and by following the Approved Code of Practice 8 (Jersey) and the Health and Safety at Work (Jersey) Law.
I have worked on asbestos containing materials for most of my younger working life – my view is that the damage is done. Why would I need to go to the hassle and expense of having a suspect material tested, as it will only be myself who is exposed?
Four points answer this question. Firstly; you have a legal duty under the Control of Asbestos Regulations (2006) they cover all non-domestic properties including industrial and commercial premises, hotels and shops, but of course there are some interesting grey areas! Social housing and private flats do not come under the asbestos regulations, but the common areas of flats (e.g. corridors, stairwells, bin stores etc) are covered, and generally the building infrastructure (walls, decorative panels, roof etc) is taken to be included. Some of the common areas in sheltered housing developments such as dining rooms and lounges have been said to be outside of the scope of the asbestos regulations, but other areas (e.g. corridors) would be included.
Secondly if you are carrying out work at premises, be it domestic or non-domestic you are still at a place of work, and would come under the Health and Safety at work (Jersey) Law 1989.
Thirdly; if the building was built pre 2000, then you have to take steps to determine and minimise any potential exposure to asbestos and as such have any suspect materials tested.
Finely; you may not be concerned for you own health but think of those around you (your grand children, nieces, nephews, sons and daughters) – asbestos fibres are only hazardous when released into the atmosphere and passing them onto a loved one by fibres left on your clothing is easily done. The risk presented from exposure to asbestos is cumulative – the more you expose yourself (and those around you), the greater the risk of those exposed suffering the consequences of asbestos related disease.
I have been told that there are 3 types of asbestos. “White, Brown and Blue”. Presumably, only the dangerous blue asbestos needs removing?
There are 3 main types of asbestos. White (Chrysotile), Brown (Amosite) and Blue (Crocidolite). Whilst it may be understood that White asbestos doesn’t present any danger, this statement is not true,’ All Asbestos is Dangerous’. White asbestos fibres are usually contained within the matrix of the parent material which is normally cement. Therefore, this material type poses less immediate risk but should not be drilled or worked on with power tools, or sanded as this will release the fibres contained in the material.