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#1 Posted : 20 September 2000 16:23:00(UTC)
Rank: Guest

Posted By Laurie
I have sealed an area where I suspect asbestos dust. We have called in specialists who have confirmed that dust is present, and they are dealing with it in a day or so.

However they say that in the meantime staff may remove material from the room as long as they wear a mask, and as long as they wipe the equipment with a damp cloth before removing it from the room.

I am not happy with this, not least because it does not address the possibility of dust transferring to clothing, hair etc. I have maintained my entry prohibition, much to the disgust of senior management.

Any views?

#2 Posted : 20 September 2000 21:18:00(UTC)
Rank: Guest

Posted By Richard
This situation can flare out of control very quickly (especially if trade unions are involved). I would suggest that the action of prohibiting entry is correct. The material type, friability (how easy fibres are released), quantity and area of contamination needs to be assessed.

If you are in any doubt in this situation I have always found using a reputable UKAS accredited Laboratory is the best option for initial specialist advice, rather than a HSE licensed contractor (you may even get some useful advice over the telephone)

You must remember that the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 1987 (as amended) probably apply and it will be prudent to carry out a risk assessment for entry into the asbestos area.

The advice of removing items from the room by wiping with a damp cloth may be a limited safety measure and disposal of contaminated items as special waste may be a safer option. However if this is not reasonably practicable the use of a H Type Vacuum may be better in conjunction with tackrags (sticky adhesive wipes) to limit the spread of fibres rather than damp rags, and this job is probably best left to competent persons (the HSE licensed removal company that you may have called).

If any persons do enter the area suitable PPE, such as high quality disposable half mask respirators (FFP 3) and particle tight disposable overalls and overshoes must be worn and adequate welfare facilities must be available to use when leaving the area.

If any air testing is carried out after the uncontrolled release , you need to remember that fibres settle fairly fast and so a result below 0.010 fibres per millilitre (clearance indicator in L28 & EH10 - HSE Books), may only be shutting the door to the problem, and NORMAL activities (such as lifting a box in the area) may cause dust generation.

Hope these brief pointers help


#3 Posted : 23 September 2000 03:25:00(UTC)
Rank: Guest

Posted By Martin
I suggest that you look at it from the angle that: (1)the type of asbestos in this location may fall within the ASBESTOS LICENSING REGS,(ALR) I dont think you mentioned what type it is, so it needs to be identified through laboratory analysis.

(2) If the asbestos identified (Amosite or Crocidolite-main two types for these Regs) does fall within the ALR Regs, then proceed with the utmost caution. This is because unless you are licensed to work with AIB, and your employees are fully trained to a demonstrated level of competence,including plan of work etc, safe hygiene and containment practices, you may run the risk of falling foul of these Regs.

My organisation was served with 2 prohibition notices, that are currently in force, until appropriate procedures etc are implemented, the 2nd notice actually prevented us working from working with all asbestos, so we had to engage a contractor to remove asbestos cement products also (costly).

Can I point out to anyone who may read my response, that work with asbestos insulation board, includes any ancillary work ie. wiping,sweeeping and would probably be classed as such.

If you would like a confidential chat, don't hesitate to contact me.



#4 Posted : 23 September 2000 04:01:00(UTC)
Rank: Guest

Posted By Martin
Forgot to leave my e-mail address:


Tel- 0191 4401670

#5 Posted : 29 September 2000 10:49:00(UTC)
Rank: Guest

Posted By Tim Hearn

with regards to your comment that it is being dealt with in a few days

Decontamintion works of this type are notifiable to the relevant enforcing authority. The licensed contractor being required to give 14 days notice before carrying out such works. If this notification period is to be waived the enforcing authority generally require a letter from your establishment to the licensed contractor asking them to apply for a waiver giving good reasons why the asbestos was disturbed (ignorence of its prescence is not in their eyes a valid excuse) and reasons why you cannot wait 14 days for the works to be carried out.

The HSE in our region often follow a waiver application with a site visit to investigate procedures and polices of the company involved with regards to management of asbestos.

I also agree with Richard that it is best to get a UKAS accredited company (accredited for sampling as well as analysis) in first rather than a licensed contractor in order to get sound independent advice. Any samples taken by a licensed contractor would have to be taken to a lab any way and they often charge more.
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