Can I remove asbestos myself?5th April 2019
Despite the 1999 ban of asbestos use for domestic and commercial purposes, it’s fairly common to still find it hidden in homes and places of work across the country. As a result of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, if you’re responsible for a commercial property, there are strict rules regarding your duty of care towards those entering the building.
However, if asbestos is present in your own home, you can make the decision to remove it yourself, but it’s strongly recommended that you don’t. Those who handle asbestos without experience or knowledge of its hazardous nature could end up with life threatening illnesses as a result.
So how can you rid your commercial or domestic properties of Asbestos?
Removing Asbestos from Commercial Premises
Under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, if you’re responsible for the maintenance of a non-domestic property, you have a duty to manage any asbestos which may be contained within them. This will ensure that anyone working on or using the premises are protected from asbestos exposure.
If you want to carry out work on the premises, fully aware that asbestos is present, you must have an external accredited surveyor identify where it is, the condition it’s in and the type it is. You must also keep a record of what it is that’s been found, assess the risks and manage them accordingly. This could be done by limiting or preventing access to the infected areas.
Calling a licensed contractor to remove the asbestos would be the next step in safely disposing of the material. By identifying the hazardous material, and having it removed responsibly by a licensed professional, you’d be complying with both the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and the Healthy and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Consequences of DIY Asbestos Removal from Commercial Premises
Unless you’re a trained and licensed contractor who specialise purely in the removal of asbestos, you shouldn’t remove it from the premises yourself, as stated in the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. Asbestos is in its most dangerous state when it’s been disturbed, as dust and fibres can put both your workers and the public at risk.
While you shouldn’t remove asbestos yourself, failure to have it professionally removed can carry a prison sentence of up to 12 months, as well as £20,000 fine. A more serious breach could land you with a 2 year prison sentence and an unlimited fine.
Removing Asbestos from Domestic Properties
While it isn’t illegal to remove asbestos from your private home, it isn’t recommended, especially if you are inexperienced or are unaware of the health implications that come with being exposed to asbestos.
Removing asbestos is more dangerous than leaving it to lie dormant. Any movement or disturbance can release dust and fibres into the air, which can very easily be inhaled. Those fibres and dust particles can still be present in the air a significant amount of time after the initial disturbance, making it hazardous for everyone who lives in the property.
It’s highly recommended that you don’t carry out any removals yourself. If you have to, ensure you contact your local council with regard to the measures you must take to remove the material safely. However, it’s strongly advised that you seek out the help of a professional, one of our highly trained, licensed contractors are always happy to carry out the removal for you.
Consequences of DIY Asbestos Removal from Domestic Properties
Whilst there are no legal consequences involved with removing asbestos from your private residence, there are many serious health implications that come with DIY asbestos removals.
Around 5000 people die each year from asbestos related illnesses, this is more than the number of people who are killed on the road each year. Serious and fatal illnesses, such as Mesothelioma, Asbestosis, Lung Cancer and Pleural Thickening, can all be caused by exposure to asbestos dust and fibres. Those who smoke, but have also come in contact with asbestos, are at a much greater risk of developing lung cancer.
Avoid contracting these illnesses and hire a trusted and licensed professional to deal with any asbestos for you.
Here at Asbestos Waste Solutions, we recognise the need for a completely safe, responsible approach to collecting and disposing of asbestos products. Our experts provide a fully comprehensive, accredited service that you can rely on. If you think you may be at risk, or simply require more information, contact us today – we’re always happy to help.
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