Taking Action to Prevent Exposure to Asbestos

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Preventing exposure to asbestos

In our review of UK health and safety in 2018 we highlighted the increased profile that mental health has seen in the workplace and the importance to both the employee and the business of good employee mental health.

On the flip side, little has fundamentally changed in the treatment of asbestos in our public buildings. Darren Payne of Rhodor the asbestos removal, demolition and remediation specialist, wrote an excellent article on why we need to treat it as a problem to be solved, not stigmatised.

The scale of the problem is massive given the number of schools, hospitals and other public buildings that still contain asbestos today and risk to health arises from both planned facilities work as well as day-to-day activities.

Fortunately, the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR 2012) provide clear guidance on duties, responsibilities and processes for dealing with the asbestos in our buildings. Unfortunately, not every company is acting responsibly and the HSE is having to take enforcement action.

One example of this was the case of Pascal Huser Design & Build Ltd who were fined for breaching Regulation 5 of CAR 2012 in not undertaking an asbestos survey before carrying out extensive refurbishment work at a property in Fulham. Of course the resultant effects on workers will not be known for years, if not decades.

Whether these individual breaches of CAR 2012 are through ignorance, or worse, isn’t relevant as ignorance is no defence.

To incorporate CAR 2012 within our e-permits solution, we had to build the process flow beginning with “is asbestos known or suspected?” The full flow is shown below and the graphic can be downloaded by clicking this link.

Depending on the type of work to be carried out (licenced, non-licenced, or notifiable non-licenced work), e-permits introduces workflow that follows the CAR 2012 requirements for each different type of work and ensures that all relevant requirements are met (for equipment, training, medical examinations etc.) before a permit-to-work can be issued.

Not only does this process minimise the risk of exposure to asbestos, it provides the duty holder with an accurate audit trail for all work undertaken.

Following is a demo of how e-permits manages the permit to work process when asbestos is either known to be, or suspected of being, present.

If you would like to talk to one of our experts to see how we can help you manage asbestos in your business then please fill out the form on our Contact page. If you’re an existing e-permits user then ask how you can add the asbestos module to your existing implementation; if you’re yet to join the e-permits community then let’s discuss how we can get you there and provide the support you need in preventing exposure to asbestos in your business.

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