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Background Legislation

Asbestos Knowledge Base

The following summaries are included to give background information if more detail is required;

Asbestos Regulations 1931

Applied to those working with asbestos and based on experiences of mills where raw asbestos was processed. A "datum" level was set and if processes were likely to exceed that threshold, exhaust ventilation had to be provided. For other processes such as cleaning, breathing apparatus had to be used. Some processes were exempt because it was said that they did not reach the datum level.

Asbestos Regulations 1969

30 years later more work on asbestos had led to more detailed regulations applying to all processes involving asbestos except a process where asbestos dust is not given off. Again ventilation and PPE requirements were included as well as standards of cleanliness and cleaning of protective clothing. For the first time hygiene standards were published based on work by British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) against which compliance with the Regulations could be judged.

Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 1987

This set of regulations deals with nearly all work with asbestos including monitoring and laboratory analysis. These regulations adopted the approach used in the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) of carrying out an assessment of work and then taking appropriate measures to control the risk. The control limits for each type of asbestos are written into the regulations.

Asbestos (Licensing) Regulations 1983 and 1998

1983 Regulations laid down the licensing conditions for work with asbestos insulation and coatings and this was extended in 1998 to include Asbestos Insulating Board (AIB).

Asbestos Prohibitions Regulations 1985

Prohibited certain uses of crocidolite and amosite (blue and brown) asbestos.

Asbestos Prohibitions Regulations 1992

Prohibited the remaining uses of blue and brown and certain uses of white (chrysotile) asbestos such as textured coatings.

Asbestos Prohibitions (Amendment) Regulations 1999

Banned all remaining uses of white asbestos except for very specific and specialised purposes.

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012

Set out the requirements for all duty holders to have appropriate management procedures in place.

Other relevant legislation

Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974

Applies to all risks and requires employers to conduct their work in such a way that their employees will not be exposed to health and safety risks, and to provide information to other persons about their workplace which might affect their health and safety. Section 3 of HSAWA contains general duties on employers and the self employed in respect of people other than their own employees. Section 4 contains general duties for anyone who has control, to any extent, over a workplace.

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSW)

Requires employers and self employed people to make an assessment of the risks to the health and safety of themselves, employees and persons not in their employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct of their business - and to make appropriate arrangements for protecting those people's health and safety.

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015

Requires the client to pass on information about the state or condition of any premises (including the presence of hazardous materials such as asbestos) before any work commences and to ensure that the health and safety file is available for inspection by any person who needs the information.

Workplace (Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

Requires employers to maintain workplace buildings so as to protect occupants and workers.

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1999 (COSHH)

Asbestos is undoubtedly a substance hazardous to health but the specific duties in CAW 1987 cover compliance.