The updated second edition of the HSE Approved Code of Practice for managing and working with asbestos (ACoP L143) has been issued.
The first and most significant change is the title of the document, ‘Managing and Working with Asbestos’ which reflects the main drive behind the review, that being the need to simplify the Approved Codes of Practice by incorporating the two previous ACoPs L127 and first edition L143, into a single comprehensive, and easier to understand, point of reference.
Virtually every regulation section has significantly updated. The following is a useful summary of some of the Key changes.
Regulation 2 – Interpretation
The section covering Regulation 2 has been updated to provide guidance on the definitions of asbestos containing materials (ACMs) and the interpretation of commonly used terms and methodology that appear throughout the ACoP.
The interpretation of the term ‘sporadic and low intensity exposure’ has been moved to this section and, in doing so, has been changed from guidance to ACoP (from paragraph 26). This is a significant change as it is a key criteria in deciding whether certain works should be classed as requiring a licence or non-licensed (including NNLW (Notifiable Non-Licensed Work)). The section also provides guidance for deciding whether work should be classed as requiring a licence or non-licensed.
Regulation 3 – Application of these Regulations
This Regulation has always been a key element providing, guidance and ACoP on work that is considered as exempt from the subsequent regulations that are concerned with licensing, notification, designated areas and health surveillance. The updated ACoP provides greater guidance on these exemptions including providing the fundamental reasons why work that is classed as requiring a licence is not exempt (paragraph 46).
The Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR) 2012 included additional requirements to notify the relevant enforcing authority about certain non-licenced work where there was a degradation of the matrix of the asbestos containing material, this work has been designated the abbreviation NNLW . This section now provides guidance for defining non-licensed work, and then gives a further differentiation between non-licensed work that does not need to be notified and NNLW (See Tables 2 & 3).
This section also provides an expanded definition and guidance on the terms ‘short, non-continuous maintenance work’ (from Paragraph 61), and, ‘removal without deterioration of non-degraded asbestos materials firmly held in a matrix’ (from Paragraph 65). Short, non-continuous maintenance work has now been moved into guidance.
Regulation 4 – Duty to manage asbestos in non-domestic premises
One of the most significant changes in L143 version 2 is the full review of the previous ACoP L127: Managing asbestos in non-domestic premises and the incorporation of the summarised ACoP and guidance into the section about Regulation 4. The previous ACoP has been much reduced to provide Duty holders with ACoP and guidance on the key points and requirements.
For example, the requirement for a ‘Management Plan’ is clearly defined in ACoP (paragraph 129) which clarifies any ambiguity generated by the previous ACoP, where it was referred to as both ‘written plan’ and ‘the plan’ and acknowledges the common parlance of ‘(Asbestos) Management Plan’.
The section on Regulation 4 also provides more comprehensive ACoP and guidance for making, managing and communicating the management plan (from Paragraphs 129 and 143).
Regulation 7 – Plans of Work
The requirements for what the Plan of Work should include, contain and consist has been formalised into ACoP from previous guidance, and in line with the Asbestos Liaison Group (ALG) memo 04/12 which sought to clarify the Plan of Work requirements (from Paragraph 181).
Regulation 8 – Licensing of work with asbestos
This section has been summarised as guidance to reflect that work requiring a license and the contractors that carry out the work are controlled and managed by the HSE through the licensing process via the specific terms and conditions that they set. As expected, the section provides a warning about the penalties that can be imposed for carrying out work without a license that requires one and for breaching the terms and conditions attached to a licence (Paragraph 212).
Regulation 9 – Notification of work with asbestos
This section now includes ACoP and guidance on the procedures for notifying NNLW, using the online notification form NNLW1 (from paragraph 220).
Regulation 15 – Arrangements to deal with accidents, incidents and emergencies
This section has been expanded to include ACoP on the actions that should to be followed when there has been an uncontrolled release of asbestos and how to clean up after the release (from Paragraph 368).
Regulation 16 – Duty to prevent or reduce the spread of asbestos
This section has been expanded to ensure that the relevant ACoP is much clearer, easier to understand and implement. Particularly for the sub-sections covering ‘Enclosures’ (from Paragraph 384) and ‘Decontamination’ (from paragraph 400) which is the backbone for the associated HSE guidance note HSG247, ‘Asbestos: The licensed contractor guide’.
Regulation 22 – Health records and medical surveillance
This section now includes the requirements for medical examinations of employees that carry out NNLW (from Paragraphs 500 and 505).
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