With less than eleven months to go, the clock continues to countdown the days until the full implementation of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002. The 'noise' is rising; enquires are rising; and some organisations are involved in implementing systems to manage their buildings with regard to asbestos. What many building managers still fail to understand is that they have a duty under the asbestos management regulations even if they have no asbestos in any of their buildings. Anyone can call at their door at any time, day or night, 365 days a year and demand to know what asbestos is present, or not present; anyone including of course the HSE.
The new regulations are about managing asbestos in the workplace. The requirements are not onerous, except in scale for organisations with extensive estates. Here, the amount of data required to carry out the task is necessarily large. Our ToolKit CS™ software is tuned to the diverse requirements of any organisation needing to comply, from small businesses to the biggest in the land, backed by an extensive knowledge base and audit trail. As a Microsoft Certified Partner, we use the latest software created from the needs set out in the current regulations. As more and more people get to use our solutions we are able to support them with new features to meet their developing needs through our quarterly updates.
'We cannot start to manage our asbestos until we have had a detailed survey done' is probably the biggest piece of mis-information to come our way for some time. From our own viewpoint, we have had an asbestos management system that will allow the addition of any of the recommended survey types at the appropriate time. We have developed interfaces to allow data to be streamed from handheld devices so that survey information can be loaded direct to the asbestos management database. In our view, management starts with the establishment of a policy a plan and the appointment of competent personnel to set out the tasks required to achieve the objective; surveys are well down the list. There is a duty to 'manage' not to 'survey'.
The single most asked for feature is the ability to link a floor plan which includes coded symbols for asbestos items direct to our asbestos register data. We are demonstrating it now so please contact us for details.
The recent HSE CDM Awareness Campaign to raise the awareness of designers has had some significant results. Bearing in mind that most of us are 'designers' under the CDM regulations whether we like it or not, the campaign has revealed that about ONE THIRD of (qualified?) designers showed little or no understanding of the regulations, their duties, or the knowledge required to carry out the duties even if they knew what they were. Furthermore, only 8% of designers have received any training on CDM, a regulation which is now 8 years old. At this rate, will we be into the next century before all are trained?
The WWT campaign again promotes effective health & safety planning to improve risk information. 'The flow of appropriate risk management information is also fundamental to much of UK health & safety information' 'the evolving ethos is to minimise bureaucracy and maximise performance'. 'The aim is to streamline CDM compliance'. If you are one of those organisations who recognise the need to proceed down this route, we can help you.
ToolKit CS™ is designed to help organisations manage the CDM regulations across their networks including Internet Extranet and intranet environments. Delivered with an extensive knowledge base about CDM, a host of management tools are provided within the product to create and maintain the health and safety documentation and audit trail required to comply with the regulations.
Our next event will be on Thursday 9th October 2003 at Bletchley Park; the key speaker will be Stephen Wright, HSE's Head of Construction Policy. Stephen is engaged in steering the 'Revitalizing Health & Safety' project from the construction industry perspective. What he is providing should be of interest to everyone in the industry, including the CDM practitioners and those involved in the management of asbestos. Our Partners will be supporting us with associated topics as before. Please book your place on our web site and make a diary entry too!