Frequently asked questions
Listed below are a number of frequently asked questions about asbestos surveys, risks and removal. As time goes on we will post more questions and answers to relevant topics around Asbestos removal, to help you find the resources you need for your project.
- Asbestos still kills approximately 5000 workers every year
- Approximately 20 tradesman die each week due to past exposure to asbestos
- It is not just a problem of old buildings, it can be present, in buildings built or refurbished before the year 2000.
When material containing asbestos is disturbed or damaged, fibres are released into the air. When these are inhaled continuously they can cause serious diseases. These will not affect people immediately, they can take a long time to develop, but once diagnosed, it is often too late to do anything. It is very important that we protect ourselves now.
When asbestos is damaged or disturbed, fibres are released into the atmosphere and inhaled by workers and the general public. When these fibres are continuously inhaled, they can, over time cause serious diseases (lung cancer or mesothelioma). These will not affect people immediately, they can take a long time to develop, up to 30 years. Once diagnosed, it is often too late to do anything. It is very important that we protect ourselves now.
Stop work immediately, confirm what it is or assume it is asbestos and carry out a risk assessment and asbestos survey. This will help determine if the work requires a licensed contractor.
Asteck are licensed contractors.
Should my employer provide me with personal protective clothing (PPE) for work within the vicinity of asbestos?
Yes, if an employee is liable to be exposed to asbestos, then employers must provide that employee with adequate personal protective clothing appropriate for the work that they will be doing.
Yes, A risk assessment must be carried out before any work on asbestos begins.
Asteck can carry out all risk assessments on your behalf.
An asbestos survey is an effective way to manage asbestos in your premises by providing accurate information about the location, amount, level of degradation and type of any asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). It is always best to assume the worst case scenario that there is an asbestos presence in a building until such time that a survey tells the contrary.
Prior to undertaking any refurbishment in a building, the owners are legally obliged to undertake a destructive asbestos survey (Diagnostic Avant Travaux – DAT). The survey must be undertaken by a certified asbestos surveyor.
An asbestos survey will identify:
- the location of any asbestos-containing materials in a building
- the type of asbestos
- the condition the material (level of degradation)
The asbestos survey can help to provide enough information so that an asbestos register (Dossier Technique Amiante – DTA), a risk assessment and a management plan can then be prepared for each building.
The asbestos risk register (Dossier Technique Amiante – DTA) is a key component of the required plan on how you will manage any asbestos found, or presumed to be, in your buildings. This management plan must contain current information about the presence and condition of any asbestos in the building. The asbestos risk register will therefore need to be updated on a regular basis. To do this you should make:
- regular inspections to check the current condition of asbestos materials
- deletions to the register when any asbestos is removed
- additions to the register when new areas are surveyed, and asbestos is located
- changes to the register (at any time asbestos-containing materials are found to have deteriorated)
The removal of asbestos-containing materials should only be carried out by a licensed contractor.
Asteck are a licensed contractor.
Licensed asbestos removal work is a significantly hazardous job because it involves higher risk asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). These materials are more likely to release larger quantities of asbestos fibres when being removed than lower risk materials (such as asbestos cement).
Licensed asbestos removal work is a significantly hazardous job because it involves removing higher risk asbestos-containing materials (flock, insulation, false ceiling). These materials are more likely to release larger quantities of asbestos fibres when being removed than lower risk materials (such as asbestos cement, windows and floor tiles).
As a result, workers require specific training and should follow specific working practices. Workers also use sophisticated respiratory protective equipment (RPE) and are legally required to be under regular medical surveillance. It is because of the hazardous nature of this work that a license to remove asbestos is mandatory.
Asbestos waste describes any asbestos products or materials that are ready to be disposed. This includes any contaminated building materials, dust, rubble, used tools that cannot be decontaminated, disposable PPE (personal protective equipment) and damp rags that have been used for cleaning.
Asbestos waste must be suitably conditioned and treated, to prevent any fibres being released.
Asteck are fully licensed to bag and dispose of asbestos waste.
We also work with specific licensed partners to ensure everything is done legally and to regulation.
Asbestos waste should only be handled by a licensed disposal site. It also needs to be transported to these sites in suitable containers that prevent the release of any asbestos fibres while in transit.