For the owners and managers of commercial and industrial buildings in the UK there is a legal duty to manage the likely risk of the building fabric containing asbestos. Although the use of asbestos was banned in the 1980’s in the UK it is still present in many forms within a range of asbestos containing materials in industrial premises, for example as asbestos industrial roofing panels, wall cladding and insulating material. For that reason it is important to be aware of the risks and to deal with them in a safe and appropriate manner for the safety of all those who occupy the buildings or premises.
The main burden of responsibility is placed on the person or persons responsible for the maintenance of the building’s fabric to ensure that they identify any asbestos containing materials (ACMs) and ensure they pose no health risk to the occupiers of the premises, which could be shops, offices, farm buildings amongst many other types of commercial premises.
Asbestos forms a health risk if the fibres are released into the surrounding air and are likely to be inhaled, causing potentially fatal diseases for which there is currently no cure. nhà công nghiệp Of the three common types of asbestos – blue, brown and white – the most dangerous are the blue and brown types but they can only be identified by a professional analysis of a suspected ACM.
An asbestos containing material, such as industrial roofing panels, that is in good, undamaged and unworn condition presents a negligible health risk but the same material in a heavily-weathered state could pose a substantial risk to the people working in the building.
But just how can you determine the level of any risk? And who is most likely to be affected?
Those most at risk are the people who maintain the fabric of the building, especially if they might be required to perform alterations that require disturbing any potentially asbestos containing material by drilling or cutting, for example, roofing panels. Evidence suggests that it is those workers who regularly carry out standard building repairs and maintenance who are most at risk.
Examples of the types of materials that contain high percentages of asbestos are pipe lagging and insulating board, which can contain up to 85% of blue or brown asbestos. Asbestos cement products such as the flat or corrugated sheets used in wall cladding and roofing panels contain much less asbestos (10-15%) and are generally less of a health risk because the asbestos fibres are firmly bonded with the cement in products in good condition.
The duty to manage asbestos has been a legal requirement in the UK since regulations were introduced in 2006 and requires you to find out if asbestos exists in the premises, where it is located and what condition it is in. Unless you can categorically prove that asbestos does not exist in certain materials (by providing the results of a professional analysis of, for example, industrial roofing materials) then you must assume that the materials do contain asbestos and deal with the risk by recording the specific location of the ACMs and making that information readily available to any workers who are likely to come into close contact with the material. For example roofing contractors performing an industrial roof repair to a leaking roof must be aware of the potential hazards they face so that they can take adequate precautions and deal with the asbestos roof repair safely and effectively.
The author has written and published articles on a wide range of topics including Contemporary Art, IT Software Services, Industrial Roofing, Asbestos Roof Issues and Project Management.
She is passionate about promoting the responsible and ethical use of the great resource that is the Internet.