Identification of Asbestos Regulation 5

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Duty to Manage Asbestos: Regulation 5 Explained

Introduction to Asbestos Identification Requirements

Regulation 5 focuses on the critical requirement for the identification of asbestos. This regulation is particularly relevant when an employee's work could expose them to asbestos. Proper identification involves determining the type, quantity, and the removal difficulty of the asbestos.

Inspection Decision: To Inspect or Assume Presence

Employers have two options: to conduct an inspection to confirm the presence of asbestos or to assume its presence. Opting not to conduct an inspection mandates proceeding as if asbestos is present and following all licensed removal procedures.

Key Point: Buildings Pre-1999

As of January 2010, any building constructed or maintained before 1999 is required to maintain an asbestos register.

Types of Asbestos Surveys

There are two primary types of asbestos surveys, each serving different purposes:

1. Management Survey

This survey is more superficial, allowing work to continue while it's conducted. It involves sampling and testing suspected asbestos materials, such as floorboards and plaster boards.

2. Refurbishment Survey

In contrast, a Refurbishment Survey is more invasive and is used when major renovations are planned. It involves taking core samples from structures, like walls, and sending these for laboratory testing.

Sampling Methods

Both surveys involve positive sampling, where collected samples are analyzed in a lab to confirm the presence of asbestos.

Note on Presumptive Surveys

Previously, a presumptive survey method was used, involving visual identification of potential asbestos areas. This method is no longer in practice.

The Asbestos Register

All findings from asbestos surveys are documented in an asbestos register. This register details the locations, quantities, and types of asbestos found in a building, serving as an essential reference for managing asbestos risks.