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House seller pestered for years over asbestos dispute in Oakley

House seller pestered for years over asbestos dispute in Oakley

A DISPUTE over asbestos in an Oakley house resulted in a woman being sent defamatory correspondence over a period of almost six years.

Kevin Rushford repeatedly contacted the woman after asbestos was found in a house bought by his mother.

His behaviour resulted in Rushford, 54, of Windyhill Avenue, Kincardine, going on trial at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

He was found guilty of a charge that between December 13, 2010, and November 8, 2016, at James Hog Crescent, Oakley, he engaged in a course of conduct which caused Amanda Paterson fear or alarm by repeatedly and persistently sending correspondence to her, her employer and family members of a defamatory nature claiming she had defrauded him and she was due him money as recompense.

In his evidence during the two-day hearing, Rushford said his mother had purchased the house in 2008 and almost immediately a warning sign about asbestos had been discovered.

He told the court it cost £25,000 to have the asbestos removed and the property restored.

Rushford was found guilty by Sheriff Craig McSherry who called for reports and sentencing will take place on March 7.

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Elderly woman charged £6,000 to have roof ‘fixed’ with gaffer tape by rogue trader

More than £14,000 of damage was caused to the woman’s home in Cambridge

The woman was charged £6,000 to fix her roof with gaffer tape (Image: Cambridge Live) 

An elderly woman was charged thousands to have her roof repaired – only to discover the workman had “fixed” it with gaffer tape.

As a result the botch job caused more than £14,000 in damage and the trader was sentenced for fraud at court.

Cambridge News reported that the woman had asked JKJ Property Services to repair her gutters in December 2015.

But rogue trader, Jobie Newland, convinced her she also needed “urgent” repairs to her flat roof – saying it would cost £6,000.

The “repairs” ended up causing £14,000 damage (Image: Cambridge Live)

After the work was complete, the lady noticed water leaking and damage – the court heard.

Newland and his labourer returned twice to fix the roof, but when she couldn’t get hold of him a third time the lady called in another roofer.

The roofer showed her pictures of the condition of the roof – and Trading Standards commissioned a surveyor who reported the work was not carried out in accordance to the invoice.

The surveyor said “torch on” rubberoid had not been used, only 25mm insulation was put in place rather than 100mm – and the work would cost a staggering £14,500 to repair.

He also noticed that gaffer tape had been used to repair the leaks.

Newland was sentenced at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court (Image: Google Maps)

Newland, of Malvern Road, Grays, Essex, was charged with fraud by false representation under section two of the Fraud Act 2006.

After pleading guilty at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, the 28-year-old was sentenced to a nine-week prison sentence, suspended for a year.

He was also ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work and pay £2,000 in compensation to his victim.

Magistrates said they took a very serious view of the offending due the “significant financial loss” and the age of the victims.

Speaking after the conclusion of the case, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s Head of Trading Standards Peter Gell said: “Our officers will continue to bring these type of offenders to justice, but we’d urge householders to be aware of rogue traders.

“If you are advised about urgent repairs, it’s worth considering having a survey carried out and obtaining three quotes from reputable builders or roofers.

“We won’t tolerate this type of rogue trading in our county.”

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Strong winds blow roof off Coventry house

The gable end of a roof has been blown off a three-storey town house by strong winds, leaving a pile of bricks at the foot of the property.

Firefighters shared images of the destruction caused during the early hours at the home on Burroughs Close in Stoke Heath, Coventry.

Foleshill fire station tweeted that “luckily” there were no injuries.

Severe gales have been causing disruption to much of the UK – with gusts of up to 70 mph (113 kph).

Roof end blown offImage caption“Our first thought was that it’s going to keep collapsing”, Mowa Errabou said

The family who live in the house told the BBC they were sleeping when the roof came down.

Mowa Errabou, 21, said they heard a loud bang and said “our first thought was that it’s going to keep collapsing”.

“We heard strong winds throughout the night but we didn’t think it would go this far. We kept hearing a few garden gates shut hard, but we weren’t expecting that.

“When we came outside we just saw the damage and thought, ‘wow, thank god it happened at night time’.

“We were thinking of converting the attic into a room not long ago, but thank god we didn’t.”

Elsewhere in Warwickshire, about 200 homes in Rugby are without power.

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Profile of a killer: 6 surprising facts about asbestos


Nowadays, the mere mention of asbestos is enough to send a shiver of concern through most people – and rightly so. Despite updated asbestos regulations coming into force in 2012, asbestos is still the single greatest cause of UK work-related deaths and remains a source of misery and ill-health the world over.

However, in recent human history asbestos was revered as a ‘magic mineral’, used in a wide range of commercial and industrial products and applications. Read on to discover more…

 1. Asbestos is a natural product – and still mined today

Unlike many toxic substances found in the workplace and which are manmade, asbestos is a naturally occurring material. A silicate mineral with long, thin fibrous crystals, asbestos is mined from the earth – a practice which is still carried out in Russia, China, Brazil, Kazakhstan and, up until 2011, in Canada. In 2009, two million tonnes of asbestos were mined worldwide.

2. Asbestos refers to a group of minerals

The terms ‘asbestos’ actually refers to a set of six minerals. All six are strong, heat resistant and chemically inert – properties that originally made it such a ‘desirable’ material for a range of products and applications. Of the six types, three were commonly used in the UK: chrysotile (white asbestos), amosite (brown asbestos) and crocidolite (blue asbestos). All six have been found to harm human health due to the long term damage that breathing microscopic asbestos fibres causes to the lungs.

3. We have used asbestos for almost 5000 years

The earliest known use of asbestos was in about 2,500 B.C in what is now Finland, where fibres were mixed with clay to form stronger ceramic utensils and pots. Since then it was used by most of the world’s major civilizations, including the ancient Greeks, Romans and Persians, where its fire-resistant properties were heralded by many as a form of ‘magic’. However, it wasn’t until 1858 that the asbestos industry formally began, when the Johns Company in New York began mining asbestos for use as industrial insulation.

4. Asbestos toothpaste?

It might seem incredible to us now that we are aware of its dangers, but during the first half of the driptwentieth century asbestos was used in a variety of surprising applications. Back in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, for example, asbestos was used to make a fake snow product that was used as a Christmas decoration. Its heat-resistant properties meant it was thought of much lower  fire risk than alternatives – and it was even used on the film set of ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ In the 1950s asbestos also appeared in the filters of some cigarettes (as if smoking wasn’t dangerous enough!)  and, perhaps most surprisingly of all, as an added ingredient in a brand of toothpaste – apparently due to the abrasive quality of its fibres!

5. Asbestos exposure kills somebody every five hours

As early as the 1930s it was understood that exposure to asbestos fibres could cause a range of health problems, the most serious of which is mesothelioma – cancer of the outer lining of the lung which is invariably fatal.  Due to the risks posed by indirect exposure, it is difficult to put an exact figure on the number killed. However, the British Lung Foundation estimate that more than 2,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year in the UK and someone dies every five hours. What’s more, in a report called Projection of mesothelioma mortality in Great Britain produced for the HSE, around 91,000 deaths are predicted to occur in the UK by 2050 as a direct result of exposure to asbestos.

6. Knowledge is key

Despite the fact that it asbestos no longer used in UK industry, asbestos related deaths are predicted to rise due to exposure of workers and others to asbestos in existing installations such a older buildings, industrial plant, older vehicles and so on. That is why the duty of occupiers to undertake surveys and to have plans for managing asbestos safely are so important. If you are unclear about the dangers of asbestos, you and your colleagues need basic asbestos awareness training, followed by training and professional advice on what you need to do to keep yourself and others safe from this potentially deadly substance.

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Asbestos encapsulation: why removal isn’t always the best option

Asbestos: the background

Asbestos was extensively used by the UK construction industry from the 1950s to the mid-1980s for a wide range of applications, the most common being fireproofing and insulation.

Take the education sector, for instance. From the 1950s to the 1980s, ‘system buildings’ were one of the most popular methods of erecting school premises. However, this method of construction relied on structural columns being fireproofed with Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM).

Asbestos: the current picture

Although asbestos was made illegal in 1999, it’s highly probable that any building that was built before the year 2000 contains some form of asbestos.

Asbestos encapsulation: why removal isn't always the best optionAccording to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) asbestos materials in good condition are considered safe unless asbestos fibres become airborne, which happens when materials become damaged. And it’s these ‘damaged’ particles that have been proven over the years to present a health risk, with asbestos being linked to diseases, including lung cancer, asbestosis, diffuse pleural thickening, and mesothelioma

Given this risk, individuals and companies responsible for maintaining and repairing premises have a duty to manage asbestos as part of the Control of Asbestos Regulations, which came into force in 2012.

What’s more, an abundance of Government-funded research and funding has resulted in many schools being tasked with the challenge of finding an asbestos management solution that suits their property and meets their budget and timescale.

However, what many people do not realise is that according to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) regulations, asbestos that is in good condition, can be left where it is, providing an in-place management plan is exercised.

Why opt for encapsulation over removal and what are the benefits?

While asbestos removal may seem like the obvious choice for dealing with asbestos, it’s often complicated, expensive and can result in extensive downtime. In contrast, asbestos encapsulation within a seamless, protective coating is possibly the safest and most cost effective method of asbestos management. It involves relatively little disturbance of the asbestos, therefore minimising risk.

But that’s not the only advantage to asbestos encapsulation. For example, roofs are an area where asbestos tends to be rife, with an estimated 1.5 million non-domestic properties reported to have an asbestos roof. Opting to encapsulate roof asbestos as opposed to removing it:

  • Eradicates the need to dispose of the material, which can be hazardous, costly and is subject to strict controls
  • Can be completed more efficiently which, in turn, reduces overall disruption, on-site time and any associated costs

How does asbestos encapsulation work?

Encapsulation involves covering the asbestos with performance coating that predominantly:

  • Protects and repairs any damaged asbestos and seals any exposed, raw asbestos edges
  • Increases the useful life of the material
  • Reduces any fibre release through general degradation
  • Protects against accidental knocks and scrapes
  • Improves the overall appearance of the material

Special polyurea products are used to apply the coating, which typically only has to be applied once and can often seal asbestos that’s present in hard to reach places. What’s more, another advantage offering by the coating is that it’s less likely to flake or crack over time.

Compared to other more traditional materials like polyurethane and epoxies, polyurea technologies offer fast and reliable application. Touch dry in a matter of minutes, layers can be built up quickly, which means a site can return to service in hours, rather than weeks.

A plural component spray, polyurea technologies are renowned for outperforming all other performance coatings when it comes to preventing or bridging dynamic cracks, providing durability and the ultimate layer of protection. With no VOCs, polyurea technologies are also ideal for environments where health and safety is of primary concern, as well as buildings that will remain occupied during the application process.

As with any polyurea treatment, encapsulation is conducted by trained staff in controlled conditions and in accordance with the latest industry regulations and standards. Although every encapsulation is tailored to each site, most processes tend to typically involve adequately preparing the area to ensure the best possible results and regular follow up checks to assess the condition of the asbestos over time.

While many people’s instinct might be to remove asbestos, it’s worth remembering that it’s not necessarily the safest or most cost effective solution. Providing the asbestos is deemed to be in good condition, taking the route of asbestos encapsulation is a highly effective, more affordable way of managing asbestos, not to mention, less hazardous and more efficient.

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Asbestos Instruction and Training from HSE

Asbestos information, instruction and training from official HSE

Every employer must make sure that anyone who is liable to disturb asbestos during their normal work, or who supervises those employees, gets the correct level of information, instruction and training so that they can work safely and competently without risk to themselves or others.

What type of information, instruction and training is necessary?

Workers and supervisors must be able to recognise asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) and know what to do if they come across them in order to protect themselves and others.

There are three main levels of information, instruction and training. These relate to:

  • Asbestos awareness
  • Non-licensable work with asbestos including NNLW
  • Licensable work with asbestos.

Attending a training course on its own will not make a worker competent. Competence is developed over time by implementing and consolidating skills learnt during training, on-the-job learning, instruction and assessment.

It is important that the level of information, instruction and training is appropriate for the work and the roles undertaken by each worker (and supervisor). Using a training needs analysis (TNA) will help to identify what topics should be covered to ensure workers have the right level of competence to avoid putting themselves or others at risk.

Asbestos awareness

Information, instruction and training for asbestos awareness is intended to give workers and supervisors the information they need to avoid work that may disturb asbestos during any normal work which could disturb the fabric of a building, or other item which might contain asbestos. It will not prepare workers, or self-employed contractors, to carry out work with asbestos-containing materials. If a worker is planning to carry out work that will disturb ACMs, further information, instruction and training will be needed.

Examples of those affected are listed below. There will be other occupations where asbestos may be disturbed in addition to those listed.:

  • General maintenance workers
  • Electricians
  • Plumbers
  • Joiners
  • Painters and decorators
  • Plasterers
  • Construction workers
  • Roofers
  • Shop fitters
  • Gas fitters
  • Heating and ventilation engineers
  • Demolition workers
  • Telecommunication engineers
  • Fire/burglar alarm installers
  • Computer and data installers
  • Architects
  • Building surveyors

Information, instruction and training about asbestos awareness should cover the following:

  • the properties of asbestos and its effects on health, including the increased risk of developing lung cancer for asbestos workers who smoke
  • the types, uses and likely occurrence of asbestos and asbestos materials in buildings and plant
  • the general procedures to deal with an emergency, eg an uncontrolled release of asbestos dust into the workplace
  • how to avoid the risk of exposure to asbestos

Online learning (often referred to as e–learning) is increasingly used as a method of providing asbestos awareness training. HSE recognises the use of e-learning as a viable delivery method, among others, for asbestos awareness training, provided it satisfies the requirements of Regulation 10 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and the supporting Approved Code of Practice L143 ‘Managing and working with asbestos’.

Workers who plan to carry out work that will disturb asbestos require a higher level of information, instruction and training, in addition to asbestos awareness. This should take account of whether the work is non-licensednotifiable non-licensed work (NNLW); or licensed work and should be job specific.

Non-licensable work, including Notifiable Non-licensed Work (NNLW)

Workers who may need this level of information, instruction and training include those listed under asbestos awareness above and whose work will requirethem to disturb asbestos-containing materials, such as:

  • drilling holes in asbestos materials (including for sampling and analysis purposes)
  • laying cables in areas containing undamaged asbestos materials
  • removing asbestos-containing floor tiles
  • cleaning or repairing asbestos cement sheet roofing or cladding

The information, instruction and training for non-licensable work with asbestos, including NNLW, should cover the following:

  • how to make suitable and sufficient assessments about the risk of exposure to asbestos
  • safe work practices and control measures, including an explanation of the correct use of control measures, protective equipment and work methods
  • selection and appropriate use of protective equipment
  • waste handling procedures
  • emergency procedures
  • relevant legal requirements
  • circumstances when non-licensed work may be notifiable (ie NNLW)

This is not a complete list.  The information, instruction and training should be appropriate to the work being done and should be tailored accordingly.

Employers should also make sure that workers  doing non-licensable work or NNLW have seen:

  • a copy of the risk assessment for that work
  • a copy of the plan of work
  • where applicable, details and results of any air monitoring, including results for similar work

In addition, the following information should be given to workers, on request:

  • maintenance records for control measures
  • their own personal information from health records
  • the results of any face-fit test (FFT) for RPE provided for work with asbestos
  • a copy of the individual’s training record

Important – This level of information, instruction and training is not sufficient for licensable work with asbestos.

Licensable work with asbestos

Most work with higher risk asbestos-containing materials must be carried out by licensed contractors. Only competent workers and managers, provided with suitable information instruction and training and using appropriate respiratory and other protective equipment, may undertake licensed asbestos work. Further information on providing information instruction and training for licensable work can be found in The licensed contractors’ guide HSG 247 and the Approved Code of Practice L143 Managing and working with asbestos.

Employers should also make the following information available to workers doing licensable work with asbestos: For the specific work being done:

  • a copy of the risk assessment for that work
  • a copy of the plan of work
  • details of any air monitoring and results
  • details of notification of work made to the enforcing authority

General information

  • maintenance records for control measures
  • the individual’s own personal information from health records
  • the results of any face-fit test for RPE provided for work with asbestos
  • a copy of the licence
  • any anonymised collective information from the health records

Refreshing information, instruction and training on asbestos awareness

Information instruction and training on asbestos awareness is merely intended to help workers avoid carrying out work that will disturb asbestos. There is no legal requirement to repeat an entire formal awareness refresher training course every 12 months. However some form of refresher should be given, as necessary, to help ensure knowledge of asbestos awareness is maintained.

Refresher awareness could be given as e-learning or as part of other health and safety updates, rather than through a formal training course. For example, an employer, manager or supervisor who has attended an awareness course and who is competent to do so, could deliver an update or safety talk to employees in house.

A realistic, commonsense approach to refreshing knowledge and skills, based on judgement of individual abilities and training needs is all that is usually required.

There is no need for employees who have received training for licensable or non-licensable work to do the lower level awareness refresher training.

Refreshing information, instruction and training for licensable and non-licensable work including Notifiable Non-licensed Work (NNLW)

Refreshing information instruction and training for licensable and non-licensable work should be appropriate to the work each worker is doing and be based on training needs analysis (TNA) that will help to decide what is needed. For example, for those found to have extensive training needs, this may involve classroom teaching or practical training.  For others, information instruction and training could be given as part of other health and safety updates or, for example, as part of a toolbox talk or e-learning to refresh experienced workers on the main principles and expectations.

Refresher information, instruction and training for licensable and non-licensable work should be provided every year, or more frequently if:

  • work methods change
  • the type of equipment used to control exposure changes
  • the type of work carried out changes significantly
  • gaps in competency are identified

It should include reviewing where things have gone wrong and sharing good practice.

Where training needs analysis indicates, there should be an appropriate element of practical training, particularly covering decontamination procedures, use of RPE, FFT and controlled removal techniques.

Certificates of training

There is no legal requirement for employees to hold a certificate of training before they can work with asbestos.

Many training providers issue trainees with certificates. A certificate is not proof of competency to do the job, but where issued, a certificate shows the individual has had training and may be kept as part of an individuals training record. Where training certificates are provided they sometimes have an expiry date (eg after a year). Expiry does not always mean that ‘full’ retraining is mandatory, as a result.

Record keeping – licensable and non-licensable work with asbestos

A record of the information, instruction and training received by each individual should be kept to:

  • help employers carry out ongoing training needs analysis
  • support individual workers in demonstrating their knowledge, skills and experience when they move from one employer to another
  • where applicable, comply with the licensing process

Information, instruction and training for safety representatives

The information, instruction and training provided to safety representatives  and elected representatives of employees needs to be appropriate to their role.

Employers should consult safety representatives and elected representatives of employee safety in good time about the information, instruction and training they intend to provide.

Where the results of air monitoring show that the relevant control limit has been unexpectedly exceeded, employers should tell employees, safety representatives and elected representatives of employee health and safety about this as quickly as possible and give details of the reasons for what happened and the remedial action taken or proposed.

Information and instruction for non-employees

Employers who are working on asbestos in premises have a duty to make sure that, adequate information and instruction is given to those who are not employed by them but who are present in the premises and could be affected by the work.

This should include details of:

  • the location(s) where work is taking place, so people can avoid them
  • possible risks from rearranging thoroughfares and fire exits as a result of the work being done
  • any other information to help people avoid risks from the disturbance of asbestos-containing materials caused by the work being done

Self employed workers

Self employed workers should make sure that they have the right level of information, instruction and training to protect themselves and make sure that others are not put at risk from their work activities.

Selecting a competent trainer

Important – Competent providers of information, instruction and training should have adequate practical experience in the asbestos sector and a theoretical knowledge of all relevant aspects of the work being carried out by the employee. It is the responsibility of the employer to determine whether a training provider is suitable or not.

How do I find a training provider?

Some of the training associations whose members provide training for working with asbestos are listed below. There are many other organisations that offer asbestos training. In providing links to the organisations listed below HSE is not endorsing the organisations, the content of their websites, or the products or services offered.

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How do you know if you have asbestos?

How do you know if you have asbestos?

As a commercial property owner of premises leased or rented to business, you may have management or control of your premises. 

Use this checklist to help you find and identify asbestos in your building or structure.

  • Identify when the building was constructed

Asbestos was widely used as a construction and insulation material in buildings constructed before the late-1980s. Australia banned the use or import of blue and brown asbestos or asbestos products in the mid-1980s, and banned all manufacture or import of white asbestos products in December 2003.

However, building materials may have been stockpiled, stored or recycled and used in the construction of buildings after the bans came into place. This means there is still a chance that asbestos containing materials may be in buildings constructed after the mid-1980s.

Of course any refurbishment or extensions to an original building before the mid-1980s may have used asbestos containing materials. Just because the original parts of the building do not contain asbestos, you should not assume that additions do not.

  • Identify what materials were used in constructing the building

Think about your building’s main construction materials. Is it constructed from timber, brick, steel, cement sheet or another material?

If you have cement sheet, there’s a chance it could contain asbestos fibres bonded to cement particles. For example, if a roof is made from corrugated cement sheeting, there’s a chance it contains asbestos.

Because of the hardiness and waterproofing qualities of asbestos, areas of the building prone to wet conditions like bathrooms, toilets and laundries may have asbestos sheeting or asbestos vinyl tiles in the walls and floors. Likewise, pipes throughout the building that carry water and sewage may also contain asbestos.

  • Do a walkthrough inspection to find asbestos

Conduct a thorough inspection of all buildings and structures including all rooms and spaces, ceiling spaces, cellars, shafts, storage areas and wall cavities.

You should always assume material contains asbestos, or get it tested when:

– it can’t be identified

– it can’t be accessed and is likely to contain asbestos

– you otherwise can’t be sure it doesn’t contain asbestos.

The design plans for a building, structure, ship or plant may help in identifying inaccessible areas. Talking to builders, architects, manufacturers of plant and maintenance employees can also help. Experience and findings from inspections of similar sections of the building (or similar buildings) may also be helpful.

It’s important to take notes and photos during your inspection because the notes can be used to produce the asbestos register.You can find more information about asbestos registers in the Manage Asbestos section

  • Use a competent person to identify asbestos

Anyone inspecting for asbestos, determining risk, or recommending control measures must be competent to do so.

To be competent a person should:

– have appropriate training, knowledge and experience in identifying suspected asbestos materials and be able to determine risk and appropriate controls

– be familiar with building and construction practices to determine where asbestos is likely to be present

– be able to determine that material may be friable or non-friable and evaluate its condition.

If you do not have the capability to identify asbestos, then you should use an external providers, for example, a consultant.

  • Selecting an external provider

When selecting an external provider, you should consider:

– their background and experience

– their specific expertise

– their qualifications or professional affiliations

– references from previous work (consider asking for examples of reports prepared for other clients).

An example of a suitably competent person may be an occupational hygienist with experience in identifying asbestos and assessing its associated risks.

An occupational hygienist who specialises in asbestos can provide advice on:

– identifying asbestos in a workplace

– developing an asbestos register

– reviewing an asbestos register

– the sampling of asbestos fibres in the air and the comparison of these to the asbestos exposure standard

– provision of a clearance certificate

How to find an Occupational Hygienist
You can find a qualified Occupational Hygienist through the Australian Institute of Occupational HygienistsThis external link will open in a new window.

National Association of Testing Authority
A suitably competent person may also be found at companies approved by the National Association of Testing AuthoritiesThis external link will open in a new window (NATA) 

  • Taking samples of asbestos

If samples are taken for the purpose of determining if asbestos is present, it is important that representative samples are taken. If there are variations in appearance, texture or colour of the material you’ll need to take additional samples for consistency and valid analysis. For example, full-thickness samples of friable material back to the substrate should be taken. You should also consider taking samples from difficult areas where there is evidence of previous asbestos removals.

The analysis must be undertaken [insert the Asbestos Samples] by a person who is suitably trained and experienced in a safe method of taking samples of asbestos-containing materials.

Samples should be taken in a controlled manner that does not create a risk to the person taking the sample, or people who will work or visit the area where the sample was taken. People taking samples should assess the risk and implement appropriate controls. These may include the use of a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtered vacuum cleaner and/or a water spray bottle to suppress airborne dust (a respirator – approved by AS/NZS 1716:2003 Respiratory protective devices – may also be used to minimise exposure).

Samples need to be placed in sealed containers (for example, snap-lock durable bags) and appropriately labelled so that it’s clear where the sample was taken.

Find out more about taking asbestos samples

  • Arrange for analysis of asbestos samples

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007, only approved analysts can analyse samples containing asbestos.

An approved asbestos analyst is an analyst approved by NATA to perform asbestos fibre counting or to identify asbestos in samples and to issue findings as endorsed reports under the authority of a NATA-accredited laboratory.

Before you take a sample to a laboratory, you should confirm the laboratory is accredited to perform asbestos analysis. You can do this by visiting National Association of Testing AuthoritiesThis external link will open in a new window (NATA).

The laboratory will give you a report of your asbestos sample. Endorsed reports have the NATA insignia stamped on the report. You should keep the endorsed report as evidence of compliance.


Why is asbestos dangerous?

Why is asbestos dangerous?

  • Asbestos still kills around 5000 workers each year, this is  more than the number of people killed on the road.
  • Around 20 tradesman die each week as a result of past exposure
  • However, asbestos is not just a problem of the past. It can be present today in any building built or refurbished before the year 2000.

When materials that contain asbestos are disturbed or damaged, fibres are released into the air. When these fibres are inhaled they can cause serious diseases. These diseases will not affect you immediately; they often take a long time to develop, but once diagnosed, it is often too late to do anything. This is why it is important that you protect yourself now.

Asbestos can cause the following fatal and serious diseases:


Mesothelioma is a cancer which affects the lining of the lungs (pleura) and the lining surrounding the lower digestive tract (peritoneum). It is almost exclusively related to asbestos exposure and by the time it is diagnosed, it is almost always fatal.

Asbestos-related lung cancer

Asbestos-related lung cancer is the same as (looks the same as) lung cancer caused by smoking and other causes. It is estimated that there is around one lung cancer for every mesothelioma death.


Asbestosis is a serious scarring condition of the lung that normally occurs after heavy exposure to asbestos over many years. This condition can cause progressive shortness of breath, and in severe cases can be fatal.

Pleural thickening

Pleural thickening is generally a problem that happens after heavy asbestos exposure. The lining of the lung (pleura) thickens and swells. If this gets worse, the lung itself can be squeezed, and can cause shortness of breath and discomfort in the chest.

Note: It is also important to remember that people who smoke, and are also exposed to asbestos fibres, are at a much greater risk of developing lung cancer.


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Managing and working with asbestos

Managing and working with asbestos

This information will be of particular interest to employers, asbestos contractors and others with duties under asbestos regulations, together with those workers currently at greatest risk from exposure to asbestos.

The importation, supply and use of all forms of asbestos are banned. However, many buildings, and some plant and equipment, still contain asbestos-containing materials (ACMs).

Before you start any work in a building that might contain asbestos (eg built or refurbished before the year 2000), you need to do the following:

Identify whether asbestos is present and determine its type and condition

  • People responsible for maintenance of non-domestic premises, have a ‘duty to manage’ the asbestos in them, and should provide you with information on where any asbestos is in the building and what condition it is in.
  • If no information is available or it is limited and you suspect asbestos may be present you should have the area surveyed and representative samples of the material you are going to work on analysed.
  • Alternatively, you can assume that any material you need to disturb does contain asbestos and take the appropriate precautions for the highest risk situation.

Carry out a risk assessment

  • Decide if its possible to carry out the building or maintenance work avoiding the risk of asbestos exposure all together.
  • If that’s not possible, identify who might be at risk and the level of possible asbestos exposure from any work.
  • On this basis, decide what work methods are necessary to provide effective control of the risks.
  • Further information on carrying out a risk assessment is available.

Decide if the work needs to be carried out by a licensed contractor

  • Most asbestos removal work will require a contractor holding a licence from HSE.
  • All work with sprayed asbestos coatings and asbestos lagging and most work with asbestos insulation and asbestos insulating board (AIB) requires a licence.
  • Identify if your work needs a licensed contractor;
  • Find a licensed contractor, or find out how to apply for a licence.

If the work is not licensable, decide if the work needs to be notified

  • If it doesn’t need a licence, you can do maintenance work on or around ACMs with the appropriate controls in place.
  • Some non-licensed work also has additional requirements, ie notification of work, medical surveillance and record keeping. This work is known as notifiable non-licensed work (NNLW).

Ensure those carrying out the work are suitably trained

  • Any worker who is liable to disturb asbestos during their day-to-day work needs to receive appropriate training to enable them to protect themselves and others.

This post was taken from

Where can you find asbestos?

Where can you find asbestos? From HSE.GOV.UK

Asbestos can be found in any industrial or residential building built or refurbished before the year 2000. It is in many of the common materials used in the building trade that you may come across during your work.



1. Sprayed coatings on ceilings, walls, beams and columns

2. Asbestos cement water tank

3. Loose fill insulation

4. Lagging on boilers and pipes

5. AIB ceiling tiles

6. Toilet seat and cistern

7. AIB partition walls

8. AIB panels in fire doors

9. Asbestos rope seals, gaskets and paper

10. Vinyl floor tiles

11. AIB around boilers

12. Textiles eg fire blankets

13. Textured decorating coatings on walls and ceilings eg artex


14. Asbestos cement roof

15. Asbestos cement panels

16. Asbestos cement gutters and downpipes

17. Soffits – AIB or asbestos cement

18. Asbestos cement flue

AIB = Asbestos Insulating Board

Residential Property


A. Asbestos cement Water tank

B. Pipe lagging

C. Loose fill insulation

D. Textured decorative coating eg artex

E. AIB ceiling tiles

F. AIB bath panel

G. Toilet seat and cistern

H. AIB behind fuse box

I. AIB airing cupboard and/or sprayed insulation coating boiler

J. AIB partition wall

K. AIB interior window panel

L. AIB around boiler

M. Vinyl floor tiles

N. AIB behind fire


O. Gutters andAsbestos cement downpipes

P. Soffits – AIB or asbestos cement

Q. AIB exterior window panel

R. Asbestos cement roof

S. Asbestos cement panels

T. Roofing felt

AIB = Asbestos Insulating Board

All information in this article is only from website.

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