Licensed Asbestos Removal

Introduction to Licensed Asbestos Removal

Asbestos was used frequently in the construction industry in the past.  Builders liked it for its various qualities like tensile strength, heat resistance, sound absorption and many others.  It became very popular in the late 19th century.  Afterwards, its health and environment hazards made it a regulated material.  In the UK, most of the asbestos removal work has to be a licensed asbestos removal.  Controls of Asbestos Regulations 2006 require a license for most asbestos removal work.  In the following cases, no licensed asbestos removal is required:

No License Requirement

  • The exposure of the employees to asbestos is of the intermittent nature and extremely low intensity.  The threshold of the low intensity has been set at 0.6 f/cm3 within any period of ten minutes.
  • There is also a control limit which should not be exceeded.  The control limit has been set at an average 0.1 f/cm3 within a period of four hours.
  • The work related to asbestos removal should be of short, non repeatable nature related to maintenance activities.
  • The materials from where asbestos is to be removed have it firmly linked within a matrix.
  • The work involves a sealing or encapsulation of materials containing asbestos.  The condition is that these materials should be in very good condition.
  • No licensed is required for the work related to the control or monitoring of asbestos removal.  Similarly for analysis or collection of samples to find asbestos in specific materials, no license is required.

It might be noted that all the works detailed above are exempted from licensed asbestos removal requirement, but other regulations may still be applicable.  Licensed asbestos removal is required whether you work with asbestos at your own premises or as a licensed asbestos removal contractor for working on other people's premises and properties.  Some minor works related to asbestos also require licensing unless they are covered under regulation 3 (2).  These works of an ancillary nature include:

Ancillary Works Requiring License

  • All works that are included in the categories of the take down or setting up of buildings or enclosures having licensed and notifiable asbestos work components.
  • Licensing is also required for taking down or putting up or scaffolding when the intention is to provide the way for a work of licensed asbestos nature, especially when it can be safely foreseen that asbestos will be disturbed with this scaffolding activity.
  • Maintenance of air extraction equipment including negative pressure units.
  • Any work which is being done within the confines of an enclosure of asbestos.  An example may be the sealing of an electric motor within polythene which is followed by installation of ducting for ensuring that cool air enters the enclosure from outside.
  • Any work within the enclosure related to cleaning of plant, equipment or structure.

One vital condition that may be kept in mind is that the license is granted to only those people who have actual plans of working with licensed asbestos removal.  All in all, most of the works related to asbestos require licensed asbestos removal.