On the 21st November 2002, the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 (CAWR 2002) became law.
Of course, in 2006 it became the Control of Asbestos Regs 2006 (CAR2006) and we’re now on the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR 2012), as from the 6th April 2012.
Back in 2002 though, the main change was the introduction of Regulation 4, The Duty to Manage Asbestos in Non-domestic premises.
Reg4 was given an 18month lead-in time so everyone could take action to comply, meaning Reg4 actually became enforceable law on 21st May 2004.
But this means that Reg4 has been known about for at least 18years now so you would think that everyone has got their ducks in a row by now.
But with the death rate in the UK still around 5500 per year from the 3 main asbestos related diseases, are we actually making a difference? I’m opting for ‘we must be’ and I wouldn’t want to know how much higher that number would be without Reg4 being in place.
As a reminder, here’s how to comply in 4 basic essential steps:
- FIND out whether the premises contains asbestos, and, if so, WHERE it is and what CONDITION it is in. If in doubt, materials must be presumed to contain asbestos
- ASSESS THE RISK from the asbestos present in the premises
- Make A PLAN to MANAGE that risk and ACT on it
- PROVIDE this INFORMATION to other employers (eg building contractors) who are likely to disturb any asbestos present, so that they can put in place appropriate CONTROL while the work is being done.
For more info, go to HSE’s website https://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/duty.htm#comply
or download their brief guidance INDG223 https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg223.pdf