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Reminder to the Asbestos Licensed Industry Issued by HSE

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 were further strengthened on 6 April 2007 by the requirement that anyone who certifies premises to be safe to be re-occupied following asbestos work must be accredited.

Regulation 20(4) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 now requires anyone who issues a site-clearance certificate to be accredited by an appropriate accreditation body as competent to carry out such work. The site clearance certificate requires that premises where licensable asbestos work has been carried out has been thoroughly cleaned and is safe for re-occupation. To demonstrate competence they must conform with the specified requirements in two international standards - ISO 17020 and ISO 17025.

The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) is currently the sole recognised accreditation body in Great Britain.

The Control of Asbestos Regulations came into force on 13 November 2006. As well as the above requirement for accreditation, the Regulations introduced other changes including:

  • A single control limit of 0.1 fibres per cm3 of air for work with all types of asbestos;
  • Specific mandatory training requirements for anyone liable to be exposed to asbestos;
  • A requirement to analyse the concentration of asbestos in the air with measurements in accordance with the 1997 World Health Organisation recommended method.

All work with asbestos containing materials, whether licensed or not, must be undertaken by trained workers following a risk assessment and in accordance with appropriate controls to prevent exposure to asbestos fibres.

Two Approved Codes of Practice (ACoP) "Work with materials containing asbestos" and "The management of asbestos in non-domestic premises" provide further details and guidance.

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