Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012
The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 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).
In practice, the changes are fairly limited. They mean that some types of non-licensed work with asbestos now have additional requirements, ie notification of work, medical surveillance and record keeping. All other requirements remain unchanged.
What is the difference between licences and non-licenced asbestos medicals?
A licensed company is licensed by the HSE and they must do a licensed asbestos medical every 2 years by law in line with asbestos regulations.
Higher-risk work must only be carried out by a licensed contractor. The definition of “higher risk” can be found on the HSE website by following this link https://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/licensing/licensed-contractor.htm
Materials that contain asbestos:
Many materials can contain asbestos – some more common than others! The building trade tends to come across asbestos more than any other industry however depending on the risk will depend on whether you must be licensed or non-licensed. Some examples of materials that contain asbestos are:
- Ceiling or floor cavity
- Automotive Parts such as Brake pads, clutches, gaskets, and valves.
- Sprayed coatings on ceilings, walls and beams/columns
- Floor tiles, textiles and composites
- Textured coatings
- Roofing felt
What happens during the medical?
The medical takes up to 45 minutes to complete and is consultation based with a lung function and general health check e.g. listening to the patient’s chest. These can be conducted in clinic or on-site depending on the number of employees requiring the medical.
For licensed asbestos, there are a series of legal forms to complete in line with the regulations which will be completed during the appointment however for non-licensed it would only be a standard consent form rather than the legal forms.
An Occupational Health Physician (OHP) sign the medical of a certificate will be issued to the employee to state they have had the medical. A review should be conducted every 2 years for licensed companies.