Asbestos work that needs a licensed contractor

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Requirement for Licensed Contractors in Asbestos-Related Activities

When undertaking asbestos-related tasks, particularly those of higher risk, the necessity of a licensed contractor is paramount for safety and legal compliance.

Criteria for Licensable Work with Asbestos

Under the Control of Asbestos Regulations, licensable work is defined by specific criteria:

  • Work where asbestos exposure is regular and of higher intensity
  • Situations where exposure control limits may be exceeded, as per risk assessments
  • Work on asbestos coatings, insulating board, or insulation, especially if the duration is not short

What Constitutes Short Duration Work?

Work is considered of short duration if it lasts no more than 2 hours in any 7-day period and involves any individual working for no more than 1 hour within that 2-hour period.

Common Examples of Licensable Work

Examples of tasks requiring a licensed contractor include:

  • Removing sprayed asbestos coatings, e.g., limpet asbestos
  • Removal or disturbance of pipe lagging
  • Dealing with loose fill insulation
  • Working on asbestos millboard
  • Cleaning up substantial quantities of asbestos-containing material (ACM) dust
  • Work on asbestos insulating board (AIB) where not of short duration

Mandatory Engagement of a Licensed Contractor

Engaging a licensed asbestos contractor is essential for work falling under these categories to ensure safety and legal adherence.

Requirements for Asbestos Contractors

If conducting licensable asbestos work, regardless of location, a licence is mandatory.

Possible Licence Conditions

A licence may include conditions such as:

  • Undertaking related tasks like scaffolding for licensable work
  • Maintaining air extraction equipment
  • Supervisory duties in licensable asbestos situations

Notification of Licensable Work

All licensable asbestos work must be notified to the enforcing authority using the ASB5 form at least 14 days before work begins.


For high-risk asbestos-related activities, employing a licensed contractor is crucial for ensuring safe execution and compliance with legal standards. Understanding these requirements is essential for anyone involved in asbestos management.