Before starting any work that is likely to disturb asbestos, a suitable and sufficient risk assessment must be prepared by the employer.
Whoever carries out the risk assessment must:
Risk assessments are about identifying and controlling the risks:
Whoever carries out the risk assessment must have a sufficient level of knowledge, training and expertise. This is to make sure that they understand the risks from asbestos (and general risks) to enable them to make informed decisions about the risks and identify the appropriate action required to reduce them. They will also need to be able to estimate the expected level of exposure to help them decide whether or not the control limit is likely to be exceeded.
A suitable and sufficient risk assessment should include full details of the work to be undertaken and how long the work is expected to take. It should also include:
The findings of the assessment should be communicated to employees, and anybody else who could be affected. A copy of the risk assessment must be available on site.
Asbestos essentials includes a number of task sheets which will show you how to safely carry out non-licensed work with asbestos. These sheets can be used to form an important part of the risk assessment if they match the work you are doing.
Further information on risk assessments for licensed work is available in The Licensed Contractors’ Guide.