How do we enforce the asbestos regulations? Who enforces?
Asbestos regulations are enforced by HSE, Local Authorities (LAs) and the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). LAs are the principle enforcing authority in retailing, wholesale distribution, warehousing, hotel and catering premises, offices, and the consumer/leisure industries). ORR is responsible for railway stations and depots and other rail premises.
If there is extensive building or construction activity in premises normally enforced by LAs or ORR, HSE may become the enforcing authority for the duration of the construction work. You should check with the main contractor.
Details about enforcement action taken against individual dutyholders and licence holders can be found under HSE enforcement action. For dutyholders, the failure to adequately manage asbestos in premises is dealt with in the same way as any other issue that the inspector believes to be 'a matter of evident concern'. Any enforcement action, under health and safety legislation, taken against licence holders will be considered as part of the licence application or renewal interview. Further details on asbestos licence assessment and the appeal procedure can be found in the Asbestos Licence Amendment, Assessment and Revocation Guide (ALAARG).
Other guidance documents which may be used to decide what enforcement action to take, if any, are:
We will carry out a programme of work to secure a national minimum commitment to the inspection of licensed work with asbestos insulation, asbestos coating and asbestos insulating board (AIB).
In particular: we will continue to give inspection priority to work where uncontrolled dry stripping is planned, work is proposed in hot environments, and where the use of power tools is planned; we will also give priority to new licence holders, licensees whose licences expire within next 4-6 months and have not been inspected in the previous 12 months, and licensees who have been sent a warning letter by the Asbestos Licensing Unit (ALU) or whose performance has been unsatisfactory; we will target 20% of visits to sites where notifications of work with AIB (Asbestos Insulating Board) have been received.
Duty to manage
HSE will continue to work alongside Local Authorities to ensure dutyholder compliance with the regulation to safely manage asbestos.