Preventing asbestos exposure during renovations and building work at your site is critical. Asbestos is potentially one of the most dangerous materials that could be present, especially in older buildings and homes.

As explained in our asbestos FAQs, if disturbed, the fibres can be inhaled into the lungs and cause serious health problems further down the line, such as cancer. Therefore, appropriate precautions must be taken when performing work that could disturb ACMs (asbestos-containing materials) at the site.

Here are some expert tips on preventing asbestos exposure.

Who should work with asbestos?

Only those trained in working with asbestos should carry out jobs where ACMs are present. Furthermore, employers will need an HSE licence before some types of work commence. This includes high-risk tasks of long duration or where control limits exceed the levels set out by the Health and Safety executive.

Always work with a professional asbestos contractor when planning building work to get the best advice, surveys and safe removal plans. Even stable ACMs could be disturbed by the work, especially where vibrations caused by drilling and banging are concerned.

How to plan work to avoid disturbing asbestos

The responsibilities of those in charge of building work are outlined by the HSE. You must determine if ACMs are present and manage tasks to avoid disturbing them. Some jobs may need to be carried out by a licensed contractor instead.

A risk assessment and plan of work should be created so that appropriate precautions are taken when completing the job. This includes ensuring all workers are aware of the risks and use asbestos essentials task sheets issued by the HSE where necessary. These make sure the job is carried out properly to keep asbestos exposure minimal.

What precautions should be taken to prevent asbestos exposure?

When working at a site where asbestos is present, adequate training is key, ensuring the team has the information and protective equipment required to stay safe. PPE should be worn properly (including suitable face masks), and building waste disposed of appropriately as you go before taking it to a licensed facility.

Ensure you wash before any breaks or going home, and avoid taking overalls used for asbestos work home. If you can prevent power tool use where possible, this will also help to leave ACMs undisturbed.

What should you do if you come across asbestos unexpectedly?

If you come across suspected asbestos that you weren’t aware of, you must stop working immediately and inform the site manager or building owner. Do not attempt to continue the job or inspect the potential ACM yourself. The material will need to be assessed or assumed to be asbestos and a risk assessment completed. A licensed asbestos contractor may be required.

Do you need help and advice from an experienced asbestos contractor? Contact us

Goodbye Asbestos provides a range of solutions for your needs, including asbestos surveys, sampling and removals, fully licensed to safely assess, handle and dispose of ACMs. Our services are available across London, Surrey and surrounding areas, including Clapham and Claygate.

For more advice or a free quote, please get in touch.

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