K - Asbestos - HPS Property Matters
Introduction and Asbestos Policy
Asbestos contact email: email@example.com
Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) is fully aware that many of the properties owned, managed and occupied by the Council contain asbestos. The Council accepts that it has specific duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and associated regulations to control the way in which asbestos is managed. This statement and management plan details the approach adopted by HCC with regard to the day to day management of asbestos in the buildings it owns and occupies, and any sites or operations which otherwise fall under the responsibility of HCC.
Asbestos has been commercially exploited in the manufacture of numerous asbestos containing materials that have been extensively used within the construction industry. The Council is aware of the potential for the presence of asbestos containing materials within HCC properties, and of the potential health effects of exposure to asbestos.
In pursuance of compliance with HCCs obligations, the Council has adopted a proactive approach to asbestos and its control in order to ensure the safety of all building occupants, staff, contractors and visitors.
Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) will adopt a proactive approach in the pursuance of compliance with their duties under current legislation and approved Codes of Practice.
HCC shall take all practical steps to ensure the safety of all building occupants, staff, contractors and visitors to their premises.
HCC adopts a continued programme of identification and assessment of asbestos containing materials within their premises. All asbestos containing materials will be maintained in a safe and sound condition.
Where required, remedial works will be undertaken to remove or reduce the risk. In all cases the risk assessment will establish processes to ensure the condition of the asbestos containing materials until such a time that it needs to be removed.
HCC will inform all relevant parties of the presence of any known asbestos containing materials. All personnel to whom a specific risk assessment relates shall be provided with the relevant information including site conditions and restrictions.
This policy is adopted throughout HCC and applies to all buildings, sites and operations that fall within their responsibility.
Statement of Intention
- Not use any product or material containing asbestos unless an alternative is not available.
- Determine record and assess the risk from the presence of materials suspected of containing asbestos in buildings, sites or operations under their responsibility.
- Not undertake any works within areas without the prior assessment of asbestos containing materials which may be affected.
- Take all practicable steps to eliminate any risk to persons occupying the area where immediate actions are required, either continually or incidentally.
- Ensure that work undertaken in connection with asbestos material is dealt with in such a way as to avoid exposure to those who:-
Work in the building, e.g. employees
Use the building, e.g. pupils, clients, members of the public
Work on the fabric of the building, e.g. caretakers and contractors
To ensure this is done efficiently and effectively the County Council has prepared and published this HCC Asbestos Policy - Arrangements and Procedures which give guidance on how to manage asbestos containing materials in their premises.
It is imperative that the Policy and the Arrangements and Procedures are followed by managers and employees at all HCC sites.
If the Policy, Arrangements and Procedures are not complied with, managers and employees may be liable to disciplinary action or individual prosecution by the HSE, or both.
Legislation and Guidance Changes
The full list of legislation and guidance notes relating to asbestos containing materials can be found in Appendix 1.
The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 (CAR 2006) details the following:
- Every person who has, by virtue of a contract or tenancy, an obligation of any extent in relation to the maintenance or repair of non - domestic premises or any means of access thereto or therefrom; or
- In relation to any part of non-domestic premises where there is no such contract or tenancy, every person who has, to any extent, control of that part of the non-domestic premises or any means of access thereto or egress there from.
The Duty Holder responsibilities are as follows:
- Take reasonable steps to determine location and condition of materials likely to contain asbestos containing materials.
- Presume materials contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence that they do not
- Make and keep an up-to-date record of location and condition of asbestos containing materials or presumed asbestos containing materials.
- Assess risk of likelihood of anyone being exposed to fibres from these materials.
- Prepare a plan setting out how risk from materials is to be managed.
- Take necessary steps to put the plan in to action
- Review and monitor the plan periodically
- Provide information on location and condition.
What Does This Mean?
It means that the Duty Holder is anyone responsible for maintaining and repairing all or part of a property, or who has control of a building. If you have control or have information about the building, you must co-operate with the duty holder.
If you are the duty holder then you must find out whether your building contains asbestos, and what condition it is in. You must assess the risk i.e. if it is likely to release fibres; also to make a plan to manage the risk.
Remember, the legal duty is about managing any asbestos containing materials in a building, not necessarily removing asbestos.
Prevention/Reduction of exposure
The County Council has a duty to prevent, or reduce to the lowest level reasonable practical, the spread of asbestos fibres from the workplace and thus minimising the exposure to employees by means other than the use of respiratory protective equipment.
NB The maximum level of air bourn febre levels considered to be permissible by the County Council is less than 0.01 fibres/ml of air. Where levels exceed this, the County Council will, by undertaking appropriate cleaning methods ensure that the level of less than 0.01 fibres/ml of air is always achieved. Less than 0.01 fibres/ml of air is the lowest measurable level using the standard test procedure set out in the approved Health and Safety Executive Guidance.
Detailed visual surveys, supplemented by taking samples have been undertaken in the majority of Hertfordshire County Council buildings. Asbestos containing materials which are visible or which are in suspect areas of the building are identified and locations recorded in the County Councils Asbestos Register. Each site holds an Asbestos Log.
The Asbestos Team must be notified of any amendments, including:-
- When asbestos is removed
- Where additional areas of asbestos are identified
- When condition of the asbestos material deteriorates
- Where it becomes more susceptible to damage because of a change in usage of the area
- When rooms/areas are altered (e.g. by removal/erection of a partition).
Regular updates which take into account changes will be forwarded to the relevant establishments.
Voluntary Aided Schools please
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