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Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR) 2012

Asbestos Knowledge Base


The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR12) came into force on 6 April 2012, updating previous asbestos regulations (CAR06) to take account of the European Commission's view that the UK had not fully implemented the EU Directive on exposure to asbestos (Directive 2009/148/EC). They replace the following four sets of Asbestos Regulations;

  1. Asbestos (Prohibitions) Regulations (amended 1999)
  2. Asbestos (licensing) Regulations 1983 (amended 1998)
  3. Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002
  4. Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006

Main Changes

In practice, the changes are fairly limited and mean that some types of non-licensed work with asbestos now have additional requirements, i.e. notification of work, medical surveillance and record keeping. All other requirements remain unchanged, e.g. relating to licensed work with asbestos, duty to manage, risk assessment, the asbestos control limit, control measures and training requirements.

The duties under The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 are largely the same as under the previous regulations CAR06 and CAWR 2002 but there are some important changes. The list below highlights some of the major issues addressed in these regulations.

  1. Work with textured coatings will not generally need to be done by a licensed contractor. It will still need to be done safely by trained competent people working to certain standards.
  2. Employers can no longer carry out work in their own premises with their own workers without a licence if the work would otherwise require a licence.
  3. The Regulations are clearer on training. Suitable training is required for anyone who is, or may be, exposed to asbestos.
  4. Requirement to analyse the concentration of asbestos in the air with measurements in accordance with the 1997 World Health Organisation recommended method
  5. Practical guidelines for the determination of "sporadic and low intensity exposure" as required by the EU Directive
  6. Most work with asbestos will still need to be undertaken by a licensed contractor but any decision on whether particular work is licensable will now be determined by the risk.
  7. There is now a common exposure value for all types of asbestos of 0.1f/cm3 as a four-hour time weighted average (TWA) (Note that 1 cm3 = 1 ml).
  8. The short term exposure limits have been removed and replaced with a Maximum Peak Value of 0.6f/cm3 over 10 minutes;
  9. Work on asbestos containing textured coatings no longer requires to be performed by a licensed Contractor.
  10. Notification is not required if exposure is sporadic and low intensity, and the risk assessment evaluates that the work will not exceed the control limits.

Notification will also not be required if:

  • The work is short, non-continuous maintenance activities
  • The material being worked on is a matrix linked asbestos, e.g. asbestos cement, asbestos vinyl tiles, reinforced asphalt, decorative coatings, etc.
  • The work is for the encapsulation or sealing of ACMs in good condition
  • The work is air monitoring / control or sampling only

Essentially an accurate assessment of exposure is required at the risk assessment stage to determine if notification is NOT required. Evidence to justify any work on ACMs where it is not notified will need to be produced and retained. It should be noted that all work with asbestos must be performed to the required standards and by competent personnel or organisation.

Managing and working with asbestos ACoP - L143

The Approved Code of Practice and Guidance for the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 is entitled L143. It is written for employers about work which disturbs, or is likely to disturb, asbestos, asbestos sampling and laboratory analysis. L143 gives practical advice on how to comply with the legal requirements of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. The Regulations give minimum standards for protecting employees from risks associated with exposure to asbestos.

Two previous ACOPs, L127 (The management of asbestos in non-domestic premises) and L143 (Work with materials containing asbestos) have been consolidated into this single revised ACOP.

Copies of L143 (second edition), ISBN 9780-7176-6618-8, can be obtained from HSE Books.

Explanatory Memorandum to the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012

The UK Government has provided an explanatory memorandum to the regulations and the purpose of the instrument section is included here for your reference.

2012 No. 632

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 revoke and re-enact the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 with some modifications so that there is a consolidated set of Asbestos Regulations. The driver behind remaking the regulations is to comply with the European Commission's reasoned opinion dated 16 February 2011, Infringement number 2006/50422. The main change will be 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. Other modifications reflect amendments made to the 2006 Regulations by other legislation.

Statutory Instruments

The full script of the CAR 2012 regulations is available from