The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012(CAR 2012)
The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR 2012) were laid before Parliament on 8 March 2012 and come into force on 6 April 2012. These revoke and re-enact the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 (CAR 2006) with amendments which were required as a result of a European Commission ruling that the omission in the 2006 Regulations of certain terms from the EU Directive on the protection of workers from the risk related to exposure to asbestos at work meant that the UK had failed to implement the Directive fully.
CAR 2006 covered the prohibition on new uses of asbestos, the control of asbestos at work, the duty to manage asbestos and asbestos licensing. The requirements in relation to licensed work are unchanged in CAR 2012 as are the core requirements for all work on asbestos materials regarding identification, risk assessment, plans of work, provision of control measures and training. The main changes relate to non-licensable work and in particular to the scope of the exemption set out in the Directive in relation to the requirements to notify work to the relevant enforcing authority, carry out medical examinations and to keep a register of work. Under CAR 2006 certain low risk work with asbestos was exempt from the requirements to:(1) Notify work with asbestos to the relevant enforcing authority(2) Carry out medical examinations(3) Maintain a register for each worker of the type and duration of work done with asbestos(4) Hold a licence(5) Have arrangements to deal with accidents, incidents and emergencies(6) Designate asbestos areas. The amendments introduced by CAR 2012 have the effect of narrowing the types of work to which the exemptions apply and effectively mean that this low risk work is now split into two(ii) Cannot clearly demonstrate that the controllimit will not be exceeded, or(iii) Demonstrates that the work is not short duration work.Regulation 3(2) sets out the exemptions for non-licensable work as follows:Regulations 9 (notification of work with asbestos), 18(1)(a) (designated areas) and 22 (health records and medical surveillance) do not apply where ””(a) The exposure to asbestos of employees is sporadic and of low intensity; and(b) It is clear from the risk assessment that the exposure to asbestos of any employee will not exceed the control limit; and(c) The work involves””(i) Short, non-continuous maintenance activities in which only non-friable materials are handled, or(ii) Removal without deterioration of non-degraded materials in which the asbestos fibres are firmly linked in a matrix, or(iii) Encapsulation or sealing of asbestos-containing materials which are in good condition, or(iv) Air monitoring and control, and the collection and analysis of samples to ascertain whether a specific material contains asbestos.Separate definitions are also provided for asbestos cement, asbestos coating, textured decorative coatings, asbestos insulating board, asbestos insulation and short duration work. However, definitions are not provided for the terms originally omitted from the Directive ”“ ”˜non-friable’ or ”˜without deterioration of non-degraded’ on the basis that no definition of these terms is provided in the Directive. It is, however, proposed to issue guidance on the types of asbestos-containing materials and work activities that should normally be categorised as Notifiable Non-Licensed Work (NNLW) and it is expected that this will be published on the HSE’s website when the regulations come into force in April 2012. The requirement for workers carrying out notifiable non-licensed work to have medical examinations does not come fully into force until April 2015 to provide employers time to put suitable arrangements in place.categories ”“ low risk work which is exempt as now from the above requirements and notifiable non-licensed work (NNLW) which in future will be required to:(1) Notify work with asbestos to the relevant enforcing authority(2) Carry out worker medical examinations(3) Maintain a register for each worker of the type and duration of work done with asbestos.In order to achieve the required changes the new regulations provide a separate definition of licensable work and set out the scope of the work which is exempt from the various requirements as now. Several other amendments have also been necessary and as a result there are changes to the notification requirements and those relating to health records and medical surveillance to distinguish between licensed and non-licensed work and amendments to permit a wider range of medical professionals to carry out the required medical examinations.The work for which a licence is required is defined as:“licensable work with asbestos” is work -(a) Where the exposure to asbestos of employees is not sporadic and of low intensity; or(b) In relation to which the risk assessment cannot clearly demonstrate that the control limit will not be exceeded; or(c) On asbestos coating; or(d) On asbestos insulating board or asbestos insulation for which the risk assessment””(i) Demonstrates that the work is not sporadic and of low intensity, orTraining:Regulation 10(1) states:-Every employer must ensure that any employee employed by that employer is given adequate information, instruction and training where that employee””(a) Is or is liable to be exposed to asbestos, or if that employee supervises such employees, so that those employees are aware of””(i) The properties of asbestos and its effects on health, including its interaction with smoking,(ii) The types of products or materials likely to contain asbestos,(iii) The operations which could result in asbestos exposure and the importance of preventive controls to minimise exposure,(iv) Safe work practices, control measures, and protective equipment,(v) The purpose, choice, limitations, proper use and maintenance of respiratory protective equipment,(vi) Emergency procedures,(vii) Hygiene requirements,(viii) Decontamination procedures,(ix) Waste handling procedures,(x) Medical examination requirements, and(xi) The control limit and the need for air monitoring,in order to safeguard themselves and other employees; and(b) Carries out work in connection with the employer’s duties under these Regulations, so that the employee can carry out that work effectively. More information on the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2012/632