8 December 2023
Our Ref: P8/23
To: All Branches
HSE Publish Refreshed Asbestos Guidance:
The HSE has this week published refreshed, updated, Asbestos guidance.
Asbestos is the greatest cause of work-related deaths in the UK. Around 5,000 people die every year from asbestos-related diseases which typically take decades to develop and cannot be cured.
The GB Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has refreshed its website pages on ‘Guidance on Asbestos’ to help ensure legal compliance and avoidance of exposure risks, aimed at companies protecting themselves, the public and their workers.
The HSE, in launching their updated website stated that asbestos guidance has been updated in order to:
Simplify the navigation to help people easily find the information they need.
Remove outdated content and replace it with up-to-date, refreshed guidance.
The updated web pages include the following improvements:
1. Introduction to asbestos safety – A step guide explaining:
The dangers of asbestos, where you can find it and identifying if it is present
How to comply with the law, depending on your job role
How employers should carry out a risk assessment
Training and information for work involving asbestos
It also summarises how to decide if a licensed asbestos contractor must do any work.
View Introduction to Asbestos safety here:
2. Duty to manage asbestos in buildings:
Guidance for the person who has a legal duty to manage asbestos in a building – the ‘dutyholder’. They must protect people from the risks of exposure to asbestos. This includes people who:
Work in their buildings
Use them in other ways
The step guide includes guidance on:
What the legal duty is
Training for ‘duty to manage’
Who the dutyholder is, depending on the type of building etc.
What the dutyholder must do
Selecting a competent asbestos surveyor and checking the accuracy of the survey report
Examples of how asbestos can be managed
New templates and examples of an asbestos register, a site plan and an asbestos management plan
View duty to manage asbestos in buildings:
3. A workers’ guide to asbestos safety
Guidance which explains what workers and their employers must do to protect themselves and others from asbestos.
The workers guide includes:
What workers should do if they think they have found asbestos
Workers most likely to come across asbestos
View The Workers guide to asbestos safety:
This includes videos summarising the guidance for Workers – view here:
4. Locations of asbestos and taking the right action:
This webpage includes an image gallery that can help you identify asbestos in typical locations and take the right action to minimise exposure.
For each asbestos product type, the page explains:
Where they are found
What they look like
Who can work on them
View Locations of asbestos and taking the right action:
Over 50 Asbestos Method Sheets and Task sheets for trades on how to safely carry out non-licensed work involving asbestos are located on this webpage.
This section covers situations when work is licensable and advice for licensed contractors with the contents in four sections:
HSE ‘Guidance on Asbestos’ Website Home Page is at this link:
HSE(NI), Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland Website page on Asbestos is at this link: https://www.hseni.gov.uk/asbestos
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer