|L127 HSG 227 MDHS 100 HSG 248 HSG 247 HSG 189/2 HSG 210 HSG 213 MS 13L143|
An Introduction to Asbestos Law, Asbestos Regulations, Asbestos Guidance & Asbestos Approved Codes of Practice
Asbestos legislation is intended to protect everyone from harmful exposure to asbestos. Although there are specific asbestos regulations, approved codes of practice and guidance, there are also a large number of other regulations and guidance which indirectly form general and legal duties with regards to asbestos containing materials.
In all cases no matter what obligations or duties fall to each individual, group or organisation the need to know the location, type and condition of asbestos containing materials is paramount to ensure effective compliance. In order to locate identify and assess asbestos containing materials an asbestos survey of some type will be required.
Due to the overwhelming number of Acts, Regulations, Approved Codes of Practice and Guidance Notes which can refer, directly or indirectly to asbestos, the following pages have been divided into two sections:
Section 1: Overview of direct asbestos Regulations, Approved Codes of Practice and Guidance notes. Can be found below.
Section 2: Overview of main Acts and Regulations which are indirectly asbestos related can be found on our Indirect Asbestos Law page
Direct Asbestos Regulations, Approved Codes of Practice and Guidance Notes:
What are Acts, Regulations, Approved Codes of Practice and Guidance Notes?
The legislation hierarchy is as follows:
1) An Act of Parliament
An Act of parliament is a law enacted as primary legislation. A draft piece of legislation is called a bill, when this is passed by parliament it becomes an Act and part of statute law.
Regulations are a form of secondary law or statutory instruments which are used to implement an Act or primary piece of legislation appropriately.
3) Approved Code of Practice
Approved codes of practice are recommended means of compliance with the requirement of the act and regulations, and have been developed after consultation with the industry or industries concerned.
A code of practice applies to anyone who has a duty of care in the circumstances described in the code - which may include employers, employees, the self-employed, principals to contracts, owners of buildings or plant, and so on .An approved code does not necessarily contain the only acceptable ways of achieving the standard required by the Act. But, in most cases, compliance will meet the requirements of the Act, in relation to the subject matter of the code.
The code has special legal status. If you are prosecuted for breach of health and safety law, and it is proved that you did not follow the relevant provisions of the code, you will need to show that you have complied with law in some other way or a court will find you at fault.
4) Guidance Notes
Guidance notes are not compulsory and you are free to take other action. But if you do follow the guidance you will normally be doing enough to comply with the law. Health and safety inspectors seek to secure compliance with the law and may refer to guidance as illustrating good practice.
Main Regulations - The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006
The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 impose a duty to manage asbestos in premises and they also require employers to:
Regulation 4 of The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 requires all duty holders under the regulations to manage asbestos in non domestic premises.
Note: Although the regulations refer to non-domestic premises, where contractors are undertaking work within a domestic property the regulations apply.
Who has a duty to manage asbestos?
Under Regulation 4 of The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 the "duty holder" means
and where there is more than one such duty holder, the relative contribution to be made by each such person in complying with the requirements of this regulation will be determined by the nature and extent of the maintenance and repair obligation owed by that person.
Other than The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006, there are an additional 10 Approved Codes of Practice and Guidance Documents which directly apply to Asbestos. They are:
L143 Approved Code of Practice and Guidance.
Work with materials containing asbestos. Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006This Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) applies to all work with asbestos and explains the requirement of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 (in force in Autumn 2006). It applies in particular to work on, or which disturbs or is liable to disturb, materials containing asbestos, asbestos sampling and laboratory analysis. An additional ACOP entitled 'The Management of Asbestos in non-domestic premises' is aimed at those who have duties to manage the risk from asbestos in non-domestic premises.