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Signage and Labelling

Asbestos Knowledge Base

The management regulations (Page 19 Para 88) require that suitable labelling / signs are in place if there are no other appropriate preventative or protective measures. Labelling should conform to the Health & Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996.

The guidance notes (Appendix 5 P82) accept that labelling will need to be sensitive to the location. Colour coding and labeling can work well in factories but may not be acceptable - by management - in a suite of offices. Where implemented, labels or colour coding may fall off, be vandalised, become dirty or otherwise become unworkable.

The advice given is to implement an asbestos management system that relies on good communication between all parties involved in the workplace, backed by good accurate up to date information made available to anyone who may need it.

Labelling of Asbestos Products For Sale

DETR's 'Asbestos and man made fibres in Buildings - Practical Reference' ISBN 07277 2835 0 - page 10 - states that from 1976 onwards many asbestos products have been labelled under a voluntary scheme to show that they contain asbestos. An EU directive of 1983 requires all member states to put warning labels on asbestos containing products that are for sale. Since 1986, all such products sold in the UK must carry the standard label which must be affixed to the product of its packaging.

L143 "Work with materials containing asbestos", Schedule 2, contains a diagram of an asbestos label to be affixed to asbestos waste and products containing asbestos.


The Labelling Of Raw Asbestos, Asbestos Waste And Products Containing Asbestos

The following is an extract from Schedule 2 to CAR 2012:

label to be used on -

  1. aw asbestos (together with the labelling required under the Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2009(1) and the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2009(2);
  2. asbestos waste, when required to be so labelled by regulation 24(3); and
  3. products containing asbestos, including used protective clothing to which regulation 14(4) applies,

In the case of a product containing crocidolite, the words "contains asbestos" shown in the diagram shall be replaced by the words "contains crocidolite/blue asbestos".

Where the label is printed directly onto a product, a single colour contrasting with the background colour may be used.

The dimensions in millimetres of the label referred to in paragraph 1(1) shall be those shown on the diagram in that paragraph, except that larger measurements may be used, but in that case the dimension indicated as h on the diagram shall be 40% of the dimension indicated as H.

The label shall be clearly and indelibly printed so that the words in the lower half of the label can be easily read, and those words shall be printed in black or white.

Where a product containing asbestos may undergo processing or finishing it shall bear a label containing safety instructions appropriate to the particular product and in particular the following instructions -

  • "operate if possible out of doors or in a well ventilated place";
  • "preferably use hand tools or low speed tools equipped, if necessary, with an appropriate dust extraction facility. If high speed tools are used, they should always be so equipped";
  • "if possible, dampen before cutting or drilling"; and
  • "dampen dust, place it in a properly closed receptacle and dispose of it safely".

Additional safety information given on a label shall not detract from or contradict the safety information

Labelling of packaged and unpackaged products containing asbestos in accordance with the foregoing paragraphs shall be effected by means of -

  • an adhesive label firmly affixed to the product or its packaging, as the case may be;
  • a tie-on label firmly attached to the product or its packaging, as the case may be; or
  • direct printing onto the product or its packaging, as the case may be.

Where, in the case of an unpackaged product containing asbestos, it is not reasonably practicable to comply with the provisions of herein the label shall be printed on a suitable sheet accompanying the product.

Labelling of raw asbestos and asbestos waste shall be effected in accordance with sub-paragraph (a) or (c).

For the purposes of this Schedule but subject to paragraph below, a product supplied in loose plastic or other similar wrapping (including plastic and paper bags) but no other packaging, shall be treated as being supplied in a package whether the product is placed in such wrapping at the time of its supply or was already so wrapped previously.

No wrapping in which a product is placed at the time of its supply shall be regarded as packaging if any product contained in it is labelled in accordance with the requirements of this Schedule or any other packaging in which that product is contained is so labelled.