Monday, 14 May 2012

Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 - Regulation Change

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 [1] came into force on 6 April 2012, updating previous asbestos regulations to take account of the European Commission's view that the UK had not fully implemented the EU Directive on exposure to asbestos (Directive 2009/148/EC).

From 6 April 2012, some non-licensed work needs to be notified to the relevant enforcing authority.

From 6 April 2012, brief written records should be kept of non-licensed work, which has to be notified e.g. copy of the notification with a list of workers on the job, plus the level of likely exposure of those workers to asbestos. This does not require air monitoring on every job, if an estimate of degree of exposure can be made based on experience of similar past tasks or published guidance.

By April 2015, all workers/self employed doing notifiable non-licensed work with asbestos must be under health surveillance by a Doctor. Workers who are already under health surveillance for licensed work need not have another medical examination for non-licensed work. BUT medicals for notifiable non-licensed work are not acceptable for those doing licensed work.

Some modernisation of language and changes to reflect other legislation, e.g. the prohibition section has been removed, as the prohibition of supply and use of asbestos is now covered by REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals Regulations 2006).

Medical Surveillance

By 30 April 2015, all workers carrying out NNLW will need to have had a medical examination. Examinations will then need to be repeated at least every 3 years, as long as the worker continues to do NNLW. After April 2015, workers carrying out NNLW for the first time will have to have an examination before they can start such work:
  • Medical examinations must include an examination of the chest and a lung function test;
  • They need to be carried out by a licensed medical practitioner, e.g. a GP;
  • Those workers already under surveillance via a licensed contractor and in possession of a valid certificate do not need to have the NNLW medical;
  • Medical examinations should be carried out in work time at the employers' expense;
  • The fee should be agreed with the doctor before the examination is carried out- HSE can accept no responsibility for remuneration matters;
  • The doctor must issue a certificate to confirm the examination has taken place and on what date. The employer needs to keep this certificate for 4 years.

For further information or Asbestos Awareness Courses contact Occhnet