The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012

Will The New Regulations Affect You?

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 was laid before Parliament on 5th March 2012 and came into force on 6th April 2012. So does this have any significance? Well, the answer is that it may have. For example, if you need to remove lower risk asbestos products, like asbestos cement flue pipes and asbestos gaskets, you may need to notify the HSE in advance of every job.

Why New Regulations?

The new Regulations are intended to resolve the issue that the UK’s domestic asbestos legislation was previously not fully compliant with the EU Asbestos Worker Protection Directive. This was raised with the European Commission by The Asbestos Removal Contractors Association, ARCA, and the Commission has instructed the UK to bring our law into line with the rest of Europe.

Changes to the Asbestos Regulations

Many parts of the 2012 Regulations are identical to the 2006 Regulations which they replace, for example HSE licenses are still required for high risk asbestos work. However, there are important changes in the case of certain Non-licensed work with asbestos.

If removal of the asbestos component requires breakage of the material, or if minor work is necessary on “friable materials” (those that crumble more easily – like asbestos insulating board) then new requirements are imposed. The contractor will have to:

• Notify the relevant enforcing authority before each job starts (Reg 9),

• Arrange for medical examinations of workers undertaking the work (Reg 22), and

• Keep registers of such work with asbestos (Reg 22). 

Three Classes of Work with Asbestos

The effect of these changes is that we now have 3 classes of work with asbestos:

• Fully licensed work permitted to be undertaken only by specialists.

• Non-licensed work on bonded materials which can be removed without damage or breakage.

• Non -licensed but notifiable work for strictly controlled work on friable materials or where deterioration of the material may occur during removal (deterioration is not defined in the Regulations). It seems that this will be called ‘NNLW’ – notifiable non-licensed work – in the future.

For further guidance on how to classify the above please see the HSE website

¹The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012


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